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Full text of "The folk-speech of Cumberland and some districts adjacent : being short stories and rhymes in the dialects of the west border counties"

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r olk-Opeech of L^umberland 





What hempen Home-spuns have we swaggering here. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream. 

Speech, manners, morals, all without disguise. 

The Excursion. 






F. L. S., 

Author of "A Glossary of Cumberland Words and Phrases," 

"Lamplugh Club," "A Prize Essay on the Agriculture 

of Cumberland," "The Botany of 

Cumberland," &c., &c., &c., 














One or two of the Cumberland stories included 
in this volume, as well as some of the pieces in 
rhyme, have already been circulated very largely in 
newspapers, pamphlets, and collections. Their re- 
appearance, along with many hitherto unpublished 
additions, in this aggregated form, is due mainly to 
the popularity attained by them separately. Whether 
they may be as popular in this more pretentious 
guise as in their humbler, and perhaps, more appro- 
priate form, remains to be tried. 

I claim superiority over most of the earlier workers 
in the same philological ground in respect of the 
greater purity of my dialect. The Cumberland 
speech as written herein is pure Cumbrian, as the 
speech of the Scottish pieces, introduced for variety's 
sake, is pure Scotch. Miss Blamire, Stagg, Ander- 

son, Rayson, and others, have all written their dialect 
pieces, more or less, in the ,SVtf/0-Cumbrian which 
prevails along the southern side of the west Border. 
In other respects my inferiority to those deservedly 
popular writers is sufficiently evident But, as ex- 
positions of the folk-speech of those parts of the 
County where, and where only, the unadulterated 
old Norse-rooted Cumbrian vernacular is spoken, 
I claim for these Tales and Rhymes the distinction 
of surpassing all similar productions, excepting only 
the dialect writings of my friend Mr. Dickinson, 
and perhaps the Borrowdak Letter of Isaac Ritson, 
and the Gwordie and Will of Charles Graham. I 
should not omit to state however, that Mr. John 
Christian of London, and a writer who assumed the 
nom de phime of Jack Todd, have evinced in their 
contributions to the local press, a mastery over the 
dialect of Whitehaven and its vicinity which makes 
us wish that their pens had been more prolific. 

For the illustrations I have attempted of the 
speech of High Furness and its Westmorland 
border, I ask no such distinction. The dialect 
there, as in the adjacent parts of Cumberland, is 
vitiated by an intermixture of that of the County 
Palatine, of which Furness forms a portion ; and as 

it is spoken, so, if written at all, should it be written. 
These appear here for the reason already assigned 
for the introduction of the Rhymes given in the 
dialect of Dumfriesshire. 

The work rests its claims to favourable consider- 
ation entirely on its value as a faithfully rendered 
contribution to the dialect literature of the country. 
No higher estimate is sought for it. The produc- 
tion of its various contents has been an occasional 
amusement indulged in during some of the intervals 
of leisure and repose afforded by pursuits of a more 
important, more engrossing, and it is hoped, a more 
useful character, with which, had it in any wise 
interfered, it had not been proceeded with. Its 
composition has been a relaxation, not a task ; a 
divertisement, not an occupation ; and had its 
success when published been deemed incompatible 
with these conditions, it had not appeared. 


December i8tA, 1868. 

C O N T E N T S 

Joe and the Geologist 

T Reels on't 

Bobby Banks' Bodderment 

Wise Wiff 

Lai Dinah Grayson 

Jwohnny, git oot ! 

The Runaway Wedding 

Billy Watson' Lonning 

Lone and Weary 

T' Clean Ned o' Kes'ick 

Ben Wells 

Sannter Bella 

Branthet Neiik Boggle 

Mary Ray and- Me 

(Cumberland) . 


(Ibid.) . 




(Ibid.) . 


(Ibid. ) 


(Ibid.) . 




(Ibid.) . 




(Ibid.) . 




(Ibid.) . 




(Ibid.) . 



The Bannasyde Cairns 

(High Furness) 

. 66 

Betty Yewdale 

(Ibid.) . 


The Skulls of Calgarth 


. 76 


(High Furness) 


Oxenfell Dobby 


. 89 

Meenie Bell 



A Lockerbye Lycke 

(Old Scotch) 


The Farmers' Wives o' Annandale (Dumfriesshire) . 


A Reminiscence of Corrie 


. 112 

Reminiscences of Lockerbie 

(Ibid.) . 


Yan o' t' Elect 

(Cumberland) . 


Keatie Curbison's Cat 

(Ibid.) . 


Joseph Thompson's Thumb 



Cursty Benn 

(Ibid.) . 


Tom Railton's White Spats 


. 148 

A Sneck Posset 

(Ibid.) . 


Remarks on the Cumberland Dialect . . 157 





A het foorneun, when we war oa' gaily 
thrang at beam, an oald gentleman male' 
of a fellow com' in tul ooar foald an' 
said, whyte nateral, 'at he wantit somebody to ga 
wid him on't fells. We oa' stopt an' teuk a gud 
leuk at him afoor anybody spak ; at last fadder 
said, middlin' sharp-like (he ola's speaks that way 
when we're owte sa thrang, does fadder) " We've 
summat else to deu here nor to ga rakin ower t'fells 
iv a fine day like this, wid neabody kens whoa." 
T'gentleman was a queerish like oald chap, wid a 
sharp leuk oot, grey hair and a smo' feace drist i' 
black, wid a white neckcloth like a parson, an : a 
par of specks on t'top of a gay lang nwose at wasn't 
set varra fair atween t' e'en on him, sooa 'at when 
he leuk't ebbem at yan through his specks he rayder 
turn't his feace to t'ya side. He leuk't that way at 
fadder, gev a lal chearful bit of a laugh an' said, iv 
his oan mak' o' toke, 'at he dudn't want to hinder 
wark, but he wad give anybody 'at ken't t'fells weel, 
a matter o' five shillin' to ga wid him, an' carry two 

2 Joe and the Geologist. 

lal bags. "Howay wid tha, Joe," sez fadder to 
me, " it's a croon mair nor iver thoo was wurth at 
beam ! " I mead nea words aboot it, but gat 
me-sel' a gud lump of a stick, an' away we set, t' 
oald lang nwos't man an' me, ebbem up t' deal. 

As we war' climmin' t'fell breist, he geh me two 
empty bags to carry, mead o' ledder. Thinks I to 
me-sel', " I's gan to eddle me five shillin' middlin' 
cannily." I niver thowte he wad finnd owte on t' 
fells to full his lal bags wid, but I was mistean ! 

He turn't oot to be a far lisher oald chap nor a 
body wad ha' thowte, to leuk at his gray hair and 
his white hankecher an' his specks. He went 
lowpin owre wet spots an' gurt steans, an' scrafflin 
across craggs an' screes, tul yan wad ha' sworn he 
was summat a kin tul a Herdwick tip. 

Efter a while he begon leukin' hard at oa't' steans 
an' craggs we com' at, an' than he teuk till breckan 
lumps off them wid a queer lal hammer he hed wid 
him, an' stuffin t' bits intil t' bags 'at he geh me to 
carry. He fairly cap't me noo. I dudn't ken what 
to mak o' sec a customer as t'is ! At last I cudn't 
help axin him what mead him cum sea far up on 
t'fell to lait bits o' steans when he may'd finnd sea 
many doon i't' deals ? He laugh't a gay bit, an' than 
went on knappin' away wid his lal hammer, an' said 
he was a jolly jist. Thinks I to me-sel, thou's a 
jolly jackass, but it maks nea matter to me if thou 
no'but pays me t' five shillin' thou promish't ma. 

Joe and the Geologist. 3 

Varra weel, he keep't on at this feckless wark tul 
gaily leat at on i't' efter-neun, an' be that time o' day 
he'd pang't beath o't' ledder pwokes as full as they 
wad hod wid bits o' stean. 

I've nit sea offen hed a harder darrak efter t' 
sheep, owther at clippin time or soavin time, as I 
hed followin' that oald grey heidit chap an' carryin' 
his ledder bags. But hooiver, we gat back tul oor 
house afoor neeght. Mudder gev t' oald jolly jist, 
as he co't his-sel', some breid a-n' milk, an' efter 
he'd tean that an' toak't a lal bit wid fadder aboot 
sheep farming an' sec like, he pait ma me five 
shillin' like a man, an' than tel't ma he wad gi' ma 
udder five shillin' if I wad bring his pwokes full 
o' steans doon to Skeal-hill be nine o'clock i't' 

He set off to woak to Skeal-hill just as it was 
growin' dark ; an' neist mwornin', as seun as I'd 
gitten me poddish, I teuk t' seam rwoad wid his 
ledder bags, ower me shoolder, thinkin' tul me-sel' 
'at yan may'd mak a lal fortune oot o' thur jolly 
jists if a lock mair on them wad no'but come oor 

It was anudder het mwornin', an' I hedn't 
woak't far till I begon to think that I was as gurt a 
feul as t'oald jolly jist to carry brocken steans o't' 
way to Skeal-hill, when I may'd finnd plenty iv any 
rwoad side, clwose to t' spot I was tackin' them tul. 
Sooa I shack't them oot o' t' pwokes, an' than stept 
on a gay bit leeter widout them. 

4 Joe and the Geologist. 

When I com nar to Skeal-hill, I fund oald 
Aberram Atchisson sittin on a steul breckan steans 
to mend rwoads wid, an' I ax't him if I med full 
my ledder pwokes frae his heap. Aberram was 
varra kaim't' an' tell't ma to tak them 'at wasn't 
brocken if I wantit steans, sooa I tell't him hoo it 
was an' oa' aboot it. T' oald maizlin was like to 
toytle of his steul wid laughin', an' said me mudder 
sud tak gud care on ma, for I was ower sharp a 
chap to leeve varra lang i' this warld ; but I'd better 
full my pwokes as I liked, an' mak' on wid them. 

T' jolly jist hed just gitten his breakfast when I 
gat to Skeal-hill, an' they teuk ma intil t' parlour 
tul him. He gurned oa't feace ower when I went 
in wid his bags, an' tell't me to set them doon in a 
neuk, an' than ax't ma if I wad hev some breakfast. 
I said I'd gitten me poddish, but I dudn't mind ; 
sooa he tell't them to bring in some mair coffee, an' 
eggs, an' ham, an' twoastit breid an' stuff, an' I gat 
sec a breakfast as I niver seed i' my time, while t' 
oald gentleman was gittin' his-sel' ruddy to gang off 
in a carriage 'at was waitin' at t' dooar for him. 

When he com doon stairs he geh me t'udder five 
shillin' an' pait for my breakfast an' what he'd gitten 
his-sel. Than he tell't me to put t' ledder bags wid 
t' steans in them on beside t' driver's feet, an' in he 
gat, an' laugh't an' noddit, an' away he went. 

I niver owder seed nor heard mair of t' oald jolly 
jist, but I've offen thowte ther mun be parlish few 

Joe and the Geologist. 5 

steans i' his country, when he was sooa pleas't at 
gittin' two lal iedder bags full for ten shillin', an' sec 
a breakfast as that an'. It wad be a faymish job if 
fadder could sell o' t' steans iv oor fell at five 
shillin' a pwokeful wadn't it 1 


Another Supplement to '"''Joe and the Geologist." 


"A supplement to Joe and the Geologist, by another hand," 
appeared some time ago, in the Whitehaven Herald, and was 
afterwards published as a pamphlet. Joe, is represented 
therein as giving to a comrade called Tommy Towman, an 
account of his second meeting with the Geologist, and making 
himself seem conscious of having played an ugly trick, and 
appealing to his old friend's clemency on the ground that his 
father was dead ; and thinking his character misconstrued, of 
course unintentionally, here gives "T" Reets on't." 

JHAT Tommy Towman's a meast serious 
leear an', like o' leears, he's a desper't 
feul. By jing ! if I bed a dog hoaf as 
daft I wad hang't, that wad I ! He gits doon aboot 
Cockerm'uth an' Wurki'ton, noos an' thans ; an' 
sum gentlemen theear, they tak' him inta t' Globe 
or t' Green Draggin, an' just for nowte at o' else 

7' Reels out. 7 

but acoase they think he kens me, they feed him 
wid drink an' they hod him i' toak till he can hardly 
tell whedder end on him's upbank ; an' than they 
dro' him on to tell them o' mak's o' teals o' mak's 
but true an's aboot me ; an' t' pooar lal gowk 
hesn't gumption aneuf to see 'at they're no'but 
makin' ghem on him. But, loavin' surs ! if he'd 
hed t' sense of a gurse ga'n gezlin he wad niver ha' 
browte oot.sec a lafter o ; lees as he's gitten yan o' 
them Wurki'ton gentlemen (yan 'at ken's weel hoo 
to write doon oor heamly toke) to put inta prent ; 
an' what mak's yan madder nor o' t' rest, to put 
them i' prent just as if I'd tel't them me-sel'. I's 
nut t' chap to try to cum ower an oald jolly jist wid 
whinin' oot " Fadder's deid!" when ivery body 
kens 'at fadder's whicker nor meast on us. My 
sarty ! he's nin o' t' deein' mak' isn't fadder. We s' 
hev to wurry fadder when his time cums, for he'll 
niver dee of his-sel' sa lang as ther's any wark to 
hoond yan on tull. An' I needn't tell any body 'at 
knows me, 'at I was niver t' chap to tak' in owder a 
jolly jist or any udder feul; an' if I was, I's nut a 
likely fellow to be freeten't for what I'd done. But 
ther's m'appen sum 'at doesn't ; ah' mebbee ther's 
a lock 'at doesn't know what a leear Tommy 
Towman is, an' sooa, bee t' way o' settin' me-sel' 
reet wid beath maks, I'll tell ye what dud ga forret 
'atween me an' t' jolly jist t' seckint time he com 
tul Skeal-hill. 

8 T Reefs out. 

I said afooar 'at I'd niver seen mair o' t' oald jolly 
jist, an' when I said that, I hedn't ; but ya donky 
neet last summer fadder hed been doon Lorton 
way, an' 't was gaily leat when he gat heam. As 
he was sittin' iv his oan side o' t' fire, tryin' to lowse 
t' buttons of his spats, he says to me, " Joe," says 
he, "I co't at Skeal-hill i' my rwoad heam." Mudder 
was sittin' knittin' varra fast at hur side o' t' harth ; 
she hedn't oppen't .her mooth sen fadder co' heam, 
nay, she hedn't sa much as leuk't at him efter t' 
ya hard glowre 'at she gev him at t' furst ; but when 
he said he'd been at Skeal-hill, she gev a grunt, an' 
said, as if she spak till neabody but hur-sel', "Ey ! 
a blinnd body med see that." " I was speakin' till 
Joe," says fadder. "Joe," says he, "I was at 
Skeal-hill" anudder grunt "an" they tel't me 'at 
thy oald frind t' jolly jist's back agean I think 
thu'd better slip doon an' see if he wants to buy 
any mair brocken steans ; oald Aberram hes a fine 
heap or two liggin aside Kirgat. An', noo, 'at I've 
gitten them spats off, I's away to my bed." Mudder 
tok a partin' shot at him as he stacker't off. She 
said, "It wad be as weel for sum on us if ye wad 
bide theear, if ye mean to carry on i' t' way ye're 
shappin' ! " Noo, this was hardly fair o' mudder, for 
it's no'but yance iv a way 'at fadder cu's heam leat 
an' stackery ; but I wasn't sworry to see him git a 
lal snape, he's sae ruddy wid his snapes his-sel'. 
I ken't weel aneuf he was no'but mackin' ghem o' 

Z" Reets orit. g 

me aboot gittin' mair brass oot o't' oald jolly jist, 
but I thowte to me-sel', thinks I, I've deun many a 
dafter thing nor tak' him at his wurd, whedder he 
meen't it or nut, an' sooa thowte, sooa deun ; for 
neist mworning' I woak't me-sel' off tull Skeal-hill. 

When I gat theear, an' as't if t' jolly jist was 
sturrin', they yan snurtit an' anudder gurn't, till I 
gat rayder maddish ; but at last yan o' them 
skipjacks o' fellows 'at ye see weearin' a lal jacket 
like a lass's bedgoon, sed he wad see. He com 
back laughin', an' said, " Cum this way, Joe." 
Well, I follow't him till he stopp't at a room dooar, 
an' he gev a lal knock, an' than oppen't it, an' says, 
"Joe, sur," says he. I wasn't ga'n to stand that, 
ye know, an' says I, " Joe, sur," says I, " he'll ken 
it's Joe, sur," says I, "as selm as he sees t' feace o' 
me;" says I, "an' if thoo doesn't git oot o' that wid 
thy 'Joe sur,'" says I, "I'll fetch the' a clink under 
t' lug 'at '11 mak' the' laugh at t' wrang side o' that 
ugly mug o' thine, thoo gurnin yap, thoo ! " Wid 
that he skipt oot o't' way gaily sharp, an' I stept 
whietly into t' room. Theear he was, sittin at a 
teable writin t' grey hair, t' specks, t 7 lang nwose, 
t' white hankecher, an' t' black cleas, o' just as if 
he'd niver owder doff't his-sel' or donn't his-sel' sen 
he went away. But afooar I cud put oot my hand 
or say a civil wurd tull him, he glentit up at me 
throo his specks, iv his oan oald sideways fashion 
but varra feurce-like an' gruntit oot sum'at aboot 

io T' Reels out. 

wunderin' hoo I dar't to shew my feace theear. 
Well ! this pot t' cap on t' top of o'. I d chow't 
ower what fadder said, an' hoo he'd said it i' my 
rwoad doon, till I fund me-sel' gittin rayder mad 
aboot that. T' way 'at they snurtit an' laugh't 
when I com to Skeal-hill mead me madder ; an' t' 
bedgoon cwoatit fellow wid his "Joe, sur," mead 
me madder nor iver; but t' oald jolly jist, 'at I 
thowte wad be sa fain to see me agean, if 't hed 
no' but been for t' .seak of oor sprogue on t' fells 
togidder wunderin' 'at I dar't show my feace 
theear, fairly dreav me rantiri mad, an' I dud mak 
a brust. 

"Show my feace!" says I, "an" what sud I show 
than 1 ?" says I. "If it dims to showin' feaces, IVe 
a better feace to show nor iver belang't to yan o' 
your breed," says I, "if t' rest on them's owte like 
t' sample they've sent us ; but if ye' mun know, I's 
cum't of a stock 'at niver wad be freetn't to show a 
feace till a king, let alean an oald newdles wid a 
creukt nwose, 'at co's his-sel' a jolly jist : an' I defy 
t' feace o' clay," says I, " to say 'at any on us iver 
dud owte we need sham on whoariver we show't 
oor feaces. Dar to show my feace, eh ? " says I, 
" my song ! but this is a bonnie welcome to give a 
fellow 'at's cum't sa far to see ye' i' seckan a 
mwornin'!" I said a gay deal mair o't' seam 
mak', an' o' t' while I was sayin' on't or, I sud say, 
o't' while I was shootin' on't, for I dudn't spar' t' 

T' Reefs out. 1 1 

noise t' oald thief laid his-seF back iv his girt 
chair, an' keept twiddlin' his thooms an' glimin' up 
at me, wid a hoaf smurk iv his feace, as if he'd 
gitten sum 'at funny afooar him. Efter a while I 
stopt, for I'd ron me-sel' varra nar oot o' winnd, an' 
I begon rayder to think sham o' shootin' an' 
bellerin' sooa at an oald man, an' him as whisht as 
a troot throo it o' ; an' when I'd poo't in, he just 
said as whietly as iver, 'at I was a natteral cur'osity. 
I dudn't ken weel what this meen't, but I thowte it 
was soace, an' it hed like to set me" off agean, but I 
beatt it doon as weel as I cud, an' I said, " Hev 
ye gitten owte agean me?" says I. "If ye hev, 
speak it oot like a man, an' divn't sit theear 
twiddlin yer silly oald thooms an' coa'in fwoke oot o' 
ther neams i' that rwoad ! " Than it o' com oot 
plain aneuf. O' this illnater was just acoase I 
hedn't brong him t' steans 'at he'd gedder't on t' 
fells that het day, an' he said 'at changin' on them 
was ayder a varra durty trick or a varra clumsy 
jwoke. " Trick ! " says I. " Jwoke ! dud yd say ? 
It was rayder past a jwoke to expect me to carry 
a lead o' brocken steans o' t' way here, when ther' 
was plenty at t ! spot. I's nut sec a feul as ye've 
tean me for." He tok off his specks, an' he glower't 
at md adoot them ; an' than he pot them on agean, 
an' glower't at m6 wid them ; an' than he laugh't 
an' ax't me if I thowte ther' cud be nea difference 
i' steans. "Whey," says I, "ye'll hardly hev t' 

1 2 T' Reefs orit. 

feace to tell me 'at ya bag o' steans isn't as gud as 
anudder bag o' steans an' suer/j/<? to man, ye'll 
niver be sa consaitit as to say ye can break steans 
better nor oald Aberram 'at breaks them for his 
breidj an' breaks them o' day lang, an' ivery day?" 
Wid that he laugh't agean an' tel't md to sit doon, 
an' than ax't me what I thowte mead him tak so 
mickle truble laitin' bits o' stean on t' fells if he 
cud git what he wantit at t' rwoad side. "Well !" 
says I, "if I mun tell ye t' truth, I thowte yd war 
rayder nick't i' t' heidj but it mead nea matter 
what I thowte sa lang as ye pait me sa weel for gan 
wid ye." As I said this, it com into- my heid 'at 
it's better to flaitch a fetil nor to feight wid him ; 
an' efter o', 'at ther' may'd be sum'at i't' oald man 
likin steans of his oan breakin' better nor udder 
fwoke's. I remember't t' fiddle 'at Dan Fisher 
mead, an' 'at he thowte, his-sel', was t' best fiddle 'at 
iver squeak't, for o' it mead ivery body else badly to 
hear't ; an' wad bray oald Ben Wales at his dancing 
scheul boal acoase Ben wadn't play t' heam mead 
fiddle asteed of his oan. We o' think meast o' what 
we've hed a hand in oorsel's it's no'but natteral ; 
an' sooa as o' this ron throo my heid, I fund me-sel' 
gitten rayder sworry for t' oald man, an' I says, 
" What wad ye gi' me to git y6 o' yer oan bits o' 
stean back agean T' He cockt up his lugs at this, an' 
ax't me' if his speciments, as he co't them, was 
seaf. "Ey," says I, "they're seafaneuf; neabody 

T' Reets orit. 1 3 

hereaboot 'ill think a lal lock o' steans worth 
meddlin' on, sa lang as they divn't lig i' the'r 
rwoad." Wid that he jumpt up an' said I mud hev 
sum'at to drink. Thinks I to me-sel', Cum ! we're 
gittin' back to oor oan menseful way agean at t' 
lang last, but I willn't stur a peg till I ken what I's 
to hev for gittin him his rubbish back, I wad niver 
hear t' last on't if I went heam em'ty handit." 
He mead it o' reet hooiver, as I was tackin' my 
drink ; an' he went up t' stair an' brong doon t' 
ledder bags I kent sa weel, an' geh me them to 
carry just as if nowte hed happen't, an' off we startit 
varra like as we dud afooar. 

T' Skeal-hill fwoke o' gedder't aboot t' dooar to 
leuk efter us, as if we'd been a show. We, nowder 
on us, mindit for that, hooiver, but stump't away 
togidder as thick as inkle weavers till we gat till t' 
feut of oor girt meedow, whoar t' steans was liggin, 
aside o' t' steel, just as I'd teem't them oot o' t' 
bags, only rayder grown ower wid gurse. As I 
pick't them up, yan by yan, and handit them to t' 
oald jolly jist, it dud my heart gud to see hoo 
pleas't he leiikt, as he wiped them on his cwoat 
cuff, an' wettit them, an' glower't at them throo his 
specks an' pack't them away into t' bags till they 
wer' beath chock full agean. 

Well ! t' bargin was, 'at I sud carry them to 
Skeal-hill. Sooa back we pot t' jolly jist watchin' 
his bags o't' way as if t' steans was guineas, an' I 

14 T Reets orit 

was a thief. When we gat theear, he mead me tak' 
them reet into t' parlour ; an' t' furst thing he dud 
was to co' for sum reed wax an' a leet, an' clap a 
greet splatch of a seal on t' top of ayder bag ; an' 
than he leukt at me, an' gev a lal grunt of a laugh, 
an' a smartish wag of his heid, as much as to say, 
" Dee it agean, if thoo can, Joe !" But efter that 
he says, "Here, Joe," says he, "here five shillin' 
for restworin' my speciments, an' here anudder five 
shillin' for showin' me a speciment of human natur' 
'at I didn't believe in till to-day." Wid that, we 
shak't hands an' we partit; an' I went heam as 
pleas't as a dog wi' two tails, jinglin' my munny an' 
finndin' sum way as if I was hoaf a jolly jist me-sel'. 
When I gat theear, I says to fadder, " Fadder," 
says I, " leuk yd here ! If o' yer jibes turn't to sec 
as this, I divn't mind if ye jibe on till ye've jibed 
yer-sel' intul a tip's whom ;" says I, " but I reckon 
ye niver jibed to sec an' end for yer-sel' as ye've 
jibed for me this time !" 


(A Sup of Coald Kectl het up ageckn.J 

|HE was ola's a top marketer was ooar 
Betty, she niver miss't gittin' t' best price 
ga'n beath for butter an' eggs ; an' she 
ken't hoo to bring t' ho'pennies heam ! Nut like t' 
meast o' fellows' wives 'at thinks there's nea hurt 
i' warin' t' odd brass iv a pictur' beuk or gud stuff 
for t' barnes, or m'appen sum'at whyte as needless 
for the'rsels, Betty ola's brong t' ho'pennies heam. 
Cockerm'uth's ooar reg'lar market it's a gay bit 
t' bainer but at t' time o' year when Kes'ick's full 
o' quality ther's better prices to be gitten theear ; 
an' sooa o' through t' harvest time, an' leater on, 
she ola's went to Kes'ick. Last back-end, hooiver, 
Betty was fash'd sadly wid rheumatics iv her back, 
an' ya week she cud hardly git aboot at o', let alean 
ga to t' market. For a while she wadn't mak up 
her mind whedder to send me iv her spot, or ooar 

1 6 Bobby Banks Bodderment. 

eldest dowter, Faith ; but as Faith was hardly 
fowerteen stiddy aneuf of her yeage, but rayder 
yung, Betty thowte she'd better keep Faith at 
heam an' let me tak' t' marketin' to Kes'ick. 

Of t' Setterda' mwornin', when it com', she hed 
us o' up an' sturrin', seuner nor sum on us liket ; 
an' when I'd gitten sum'at to eat, iv a hugger 
mugger mak' of a way, says Betty till me, says she 
" Here's six an' twenty pund o' butter," says she. 
" If thoo was gud for owte thoojvad git a shilling a 
pund for't ivery slake. Here's five dozen of eggs," 
says she, " / wadn't give a skell o' them mair nor 
ten for sixpence," says she, " but thoo mun git what 
thoo can," says she, "efter thu's fund oot what 
udder fwoke's axin. When thu's mead thy market," 
says Betty, " thu'll ga to t' draper's an' git me a 
yard o' check for a brat, a knot o' tape for strings 
tul't, an' a hank o' threed to sowe't wid if I's gud 
for nowte else, I can sowe yit," says she, wid a 
gurn ; " than thoo mun git hoaf a pund o' tea an' 
a quarter of a stean o' sugger they ken my price 
at Crosstet's an' hoaf a stean o' scat, an' a pund 
o' seap, an' hoaf a pund o ! starch, an' a penn'orth 
o' stean-blue, an' git me a bottle o' that stuff to rub 
my back wid ; an' than thoo ma' git two oonces o' 
'bacca for thysel'. 

If thoo leuks hoaf as sharp as thoo sud leuk 
thu'll be through wid beath thy marketin' an' thy 
shoppin' by twelve o' clock ; an' thoo ma' ga an' git 

Bobby Banks Bodderment. 1 7 

a bit o' dinner, like ladder fwoke, at Mistress Boo's, 
an' a pint o' yall. Efter that t' seuner thoo starts 
for beam an' t' better. Noo thu'll mind an' forgit 
nowte 1 Ther' t' check, an' t' tape, an' t' threed, 
that's three things t' tea, an' t' sugger, an' t' soat, 
an' t' seap, an' t' starch, an' t' stean-blue, an' t' 
rubbin' stuff, an' t' 'bacca I's up-ho'd the' nut to 
forgit that ! elebben. Ten things for me, an' yan 
for thysei' ! I think I've mead o' plain aneuf ; an' 
noo, if thoo misses owte I'll say thoo's a bigger 
clot-heid nor I've tean the' for an' that 'ill be 
sayin' nea lal ! " 

Many a fellow wad tak t' 'frunts if his wife spak 
till him i' that way but bliss ye I've leev't lang 
aneuf wid Betty to know 'at it's no'but a way she 
hes o' shewin' her likin'. When she wants to be t' 
kindest an' best to yan, yan's ola's suer to git t' 
warst wurd 'at she can finnd i' t' inside on her ! 

Well, I set off i' gud fettle for Kes'ick, gat theear 
i' gradely time, an' pot up at Mistress Boo's. I hed 
a sharpish market, an' seim gat shot o' my butter 
an' eggs at better prices nor Betty toak't on. I 
bowte o' t' things at she wantit, an' t' 'bacca for 
mysel', an' gat a gud dinner at Mistress Boo's, an' 
a pint o' yall an' a crack. 

He wad be a cliverish fellow 'at went ta Kes'ick 
an' gat oot on't adoot rain ; an' suer aneuf, by t' 
time 'at I'd finished my pint and my crack, it was 
cummin' doon as it knows hoo to cum doon at 
Kes'ick. % 


18 Bobby Banks Bodderment. 

But when it rains theear, they hev to deu as they 
deu under Skiddaw, let itfo ! an' wet or dry, I hed 
to git heam tull Betty. 

When I was aboot startin', I begon to think ther' 
was sum'at mair to tak wid me. I coontit t' things 
ower i' my basket hoaf a dozen times. Theear 
they o' warr ten for Betty, yan for me ! Than 
what the dang-ment was't I was forgittin ? I was 
suer it was sum'at, but for t' heart on me I cudn't 
think what it med be. Efter considerin' for a lang 
time, an' gittin' anudder pint to help md to consider, 
I set off i' t' rain wid my basket an' t' things in't, 
anonder my top-sark to keep o' dry. 

Bee t' time I gat to Portinskeal, I'd begon to 
tire ! T' wedder was slattery, t' rwoads was slashy, 
t' basket was heavy, an' t' top sark mead me het ; 
but t' thowtes o' hevin' forgitten sum'at tew't me t' 
warst of o'. I rustit theear a bit gat anudder pint, 
an' coontit my things ower and ower, " Ten for 
Betty ! yan for my-sel." I cud mak nowder mair 
nor less on them. Cockswunters ! what hed I 
forgitten? Or what was't 'at me&d me suer I'd 
forgitten sum'at when I'd o' t' things wid me 1 

I teuk t' rwoad agean mair nor hoaf crazy. 

I stop't under a tree aside Springbank, an' Dr. 

com' ridin' up through t 7 rain, on his black galloway. 
"Why, Robert," says he, "ye look as if ye'd lost 
something." "Nay, doctor," says I, "here t' check 
an' t' tape an' t' threed I' lost nowte that's three. 

Bobby Banks Bodderment. 19 

Here t' soat, an' t' seap, an' t' starch, an' t' stean- 
blue that's sebben I' lost nowte, but I' forgitten 
sum'at. Here t' tea, an' t' sugger, an' t' rubbin' 
bottle that's ten; an' here t' 'bacca that's elebben. 
Ten for Betty, an' yan for me ! Ten for Betty, 
an' yan for me ! ! Doctor, doctor," says I, "fwoke 
say ye ken oa things what hev I forgitten ?" "I'll 
tell ye what ye haven't forgotten," says he, "ye 
haven't forgotten the ale at Keswick. Get home, 
Robert, get home," says he, " and go to bed and 
sleep it off." I believe he thowte I was drunk ; but 
I wasn't I was no'but maizelt wid tryin' to finnd 
oot what I'd forgitten. 

As I com nar to t' Swan wid two Necks I fell in 
wid greet Gweordie Howe, and says I, " Gweordie 
my lad," says I, " I's straddelt," says I, " Fs fairly 
maiz't," says I. "I left sum'at ahint me at Kes'ick, 
an' I've thowte aboot it till my heid's ga'n like a job- 
jurnal," says I, "an' what it is /cannot tell." "Can 
t'e nut 1 ?" says Gweordie. "Can t'e nut? Whey, 
than, cum in an' see if a pint o' yall '11 help the'." 
Well, I steud pints, an' Gweordie steud pints, an' I 
steud pints agean. Anudder time I wad ha' been 
thinkin' aboot what Betty wad say till o' this pintin', 
but I was gittin' despert aboot what I'd forgitten at 
Kes'ick, an' I cud think o' nowte else. 

T' yall was gud aneuf, but it dudn't kest a morsel 
o' leet on what was bodderin' on ma sa sair, an' I 
teuk t' rwoad agean finndin' as if I was farder off 't 
nor iver. 

2O Bobby Banks Bodderment. 

T' rain keep't cummin' doon t' rvvoad gat softer 
an' softer t' basket gat heavier an' heavier t' top 
sark hetter an' better, an' my .heid queerer an' 
queerer. If I stopt anonder ya tree i' t' wud, I 
stopt anonder twenty, an' coontit ower t' things i' t' 
basket till they begon to shap' theirsels intil o' mak's 
o' barnish sangs i' my heid, and I fund mysel' 
creunin' away at sec bits of rhymes as thurr 

Ten things an' yan, Bobby, 

Ten things an' yan ; 
Here five an' five for Betty Banks, 

An' yan for Betty's man. 

"Lord preserve oor wits sec as they urr," says I. 
"I mun be ga'n wrang i' my heid when I've tean till 
mackin' sangs ! " But t' queerest break was 'at I 
duddn't mak' them they mead thersel's an' they 
mead me sing them an' o', whedder I wad or nut 
an' off I went agean till a different teim 

Says Betty says she ; says Betty till me 

" If owte thoo contrives to forgit, 
"I'll reckon the' daizter an' dafter," says she, 

"Nor iver I've reckon't the' yit." 
I's daizter an' dafter nor iver, she'll say, 

An' marry, she willn't say wrang ! 
But scold as she will, ey, an' gum as she may, 

I'll sing her a bonnie lal sang, lal sang, 
I'll sing her a bonnie lal sang. 

" Well ! It hes cum't till whoa wad hae thowte it," 
says I, " if I cannot stop mysel' frae mackin' sangs 
an' singin' them of a wet day i' Widdup Wud ; I'll 

Bobby Banks Bodderment. 2 1 

,coont t' .things ower agean," says I, "an' see if that'll 
stop ma." Ye ma' believe ma or nut, as ye like, 
but iv anudder tick-tack there was I coontin' t' 
things ower iv a sang : 

Here t' check an' t' tape an' t' threed, oald lad ! 

Here t' soat an' t' sugger an' t' tea 
Seap, starch, stean-blue, an' t' bottle to rub, 

An' t' 'bacca by 'tsel' on't for me, 
Here t' 'bacca by 'tsel' on't for me, me, me, 

Here t' 'bacca by 'tsel' on't for me. 
I'll niver git heam while Bobby's my neam, 

But maffle an' sing till I dee, dee, dee, 
But maffle an' sing till I dee ! 

"Weel, weel," says I, "if I is oot o' my senses I is 
oot o' my senses, an' that's oa' aboot it, but 

Loavins what'll Betty think, Betty think, Betty think, 

Loavins what'll Betty think if Bobby bide away ? 
She'll sweet he's warin' t' brass i' drink, t' brass i' drink, t' 

brass i' drink, 

She'll sweer he's warin' t' brass i' drink this varra market-day. 
She's thrimlin' for her butter-brass, her butter-brass, her 


She's thrimlin' for her butter brass, but willn't thrimle lang. 
For Bobby lad thu's hur to feace, thu's hiir to feace, thii's hur 

to feace, 

For Bobby lad, thu's hiir to feace ; she'll m'appen change 
thy sang. 

Sang or nea sang, t' thowtes o' hevin' "hur to 
feace," an' that gaily seun, rayder brong me to my 
oan oald sel' agean. I set off yance mair, an' this 
time, I dudn't stop while I gat fairly into t' foald. 

22 Bobby Banks Bodderment. 

Faith seed me cummin', an' met me ootside o' t' 
hoose dooar, an' says Faith, " Whoar t' meear an' t' 
car, fadder ? " I dropp't my basket, an' I geap't at 
her ! Lai Jacop com runnin oot, an' says Jacop, 
"Fadder, whoar t' meear an' t' car?" I swattit 
mysel' doon on t' stean binch, an' I glower't at 
them furst at yan an' than at t' tudder on them. 
Betty com limpin' by t' God-speed, an' says Betty, 
"What hes t'e mead o' t' car an' t' meear, thoo 
maizlin?" I gat my speech agean when Betty 
spak', an', hoaf crazet an' hoaf cryin', I shootit oot, 
"'Od's wuns an' deeth, that's what I' forgitten!" 
That was what / said. What Betty said I think I 
willn't tell ye. 


|T was a fine job for Wilfrid Wankelthet 'at 
his fadder was bworn afooar him. If he'd 
cum't into t' warld pooar, he wad ha' 
bidden pooar, an' gean pooarer an' pooarer still, till 
he'd finish't on t' parish. 

He was yan o' t' hafe-rock't mack, was Wifiy, 
varra lal in him but what was putten in wid a speun, 
an' that hed run a gay deal mair to body nor brains. 

For o' that he wasn't a bad fellow, an' he wasn't 
badly thowte on. Many a body said o' Wise Wiff, 
'at if he hedn't much in him, t' lal he hed in him 
wasn't of a bad pattren ; an' es for his manishment, 
if he'd nb'but stuck till his fadder' advice, he needn't 
ha' gitten sa varra far wrang. 

T' way he gat his fadder's advice was this. When 
t' oald man fund 'at he was ga'n whoar he cudn't 
carry his land an' his morgidges, an' his munney, 
an' his moiderment alang wid him whoar they 
wadn't dee him mickle gud if he cud he sent for 
Jobby Jinkison, o' Jurtinsyke, a smo' farmer of his 

24 Wise Wiff. 

'at bed deun a gud deal o' bisness for him at fairs, 
an' markets, an' scales, an' sec like, efter he'd 
growne ower frail to git fray heam his-sel' ; an', says 
he, " Jobby, I's leavin't o'," he says, " I've mead a 
fair scraffle, Jobby," says he, " an' I've gedder't a 
gay bit togidder, but I can't tack it wid me, Jobby, 
an' I's wantin to speak till the' aboot that pooarlad 
o' mine, 'at it o' hes to cum till. Neabody kens 
better nor thee what he's shwort on neabody 
kens so weel hoo I've triet to git a bit o' edication 
driiven intul him, an' hoo lal we've mead on't. Ya 
scheulmaister said he was shwort o' apprehension ; 
auudder, 'at he wantit ability ; an' a thurd, 'at he 
hed nea capacity. If thur hed been things 'at 
munny wad ha' bowte, he sud hed them o', but they 
warn't. What God's left oot we cannot o' put in, 
thoo knows, an' we mun submit we mun submit, 
Jobby," says he, "an' mack t' best o' things as they 
urr. But I cud submit better I cud dee easier if 
thoo wad promish to leuk efter things for him when 
I's gean. I divn't want him to be idle o' togidder 
an' sooa I wad wish him to keep t' Booin-leys iv his 
oan hand it'll give him sum'at to think aboot, an' 
mack fwoke leuk up till him mair nor if he was 
deuin nowte at o' ; an' I fancy 'at if thoo wad agree 
to deu o' his buyin an' sellin for him, an' seav him 
fray bein tean in an' laugh't at, I cud be happier 
noo. Wit'tel" Jobby wasn't a man o' many 
wurds, but he said "I will, maister! I'll dee o' for 

Wise Wiff. 25 

him t' seam as if ye war heear to worder it yersel' 
an' see it deun. Wid t' farms o' weel set wid t' 
Booin-leys liggin i' girse, an' wid me to leuk efter 
his barg'ins, I wad like to see t' fellow 'at wad laugh 
at ooar Wiff." " I believe the', Jobby I believe 
the', my lad," says t' deein man, " I leuk't for nea 
less at thy hand. Fetch him in here, an' I'll tell 
him afooar the' what I wis' him to deu when I's 
gean. Wiffy, my lad," says he, as his son com in, 
leuken, as he thowte, mair sackless nor iver. "Wiffy, 
my pooar lad, thy oald fadder's ga'n to leave thee. 
Whey, whey, gud lad ! it's reet aneuf thoo sud be 
sworry to Iwoase sec a fadder, but divn't gowl i' that 
way," for Wiff hed brassen oot wid a meast terrable 
rooar. " I say I hev to leave thee, an' that afooar 
lang. Hod thy noise, thoo bellerin coaf, an' hear 
what I've to say," says t' fadder, as he got oot o' 
patience at Wiff's gowlin, an' went back tull his 
oald hard way o' speakin til him. " Stop thy beelin, 
I say, an' lissen to me. I've hed Jobby here browte 
ower, ebben o' purpose, to mack him promish 'at 
he'll leuk efter thee when I's away. Hod t' noise 
on the', wil'te' ! I's leevin the' weel providit for, an' 
o' t' land mun be let but t' Booin-leys; thoo mun 
keep them i' thy oan hand thtirty yacre o' gud 
grund. Ey," says he, hoaf till hissel, " t' best land 
'at iver laid oot o' dooars. Whativer way ye gang 
fray't ye warsen ! Thoo'll hod them i' thy oan 
hand, for t' seak o' hevin sum'at to deu. Thoo'll 

26 Wise Wiff. 

hev to leuk efter t' fences, an' t' yatts, an' t' water- 
coorses. Keep them i' order ; an' keep t' plew oot 
o' t' land ; it 'ill give t' meast liggin t' green side 
up. Jobby 'ill deu thy tradin' for the'. Dunnot 
thee mell wid buyin or sellin. Leave o' that to 
Jobby, an' pay him whativer he charges for his 
truble. He'll deu what's reet, will Jobby. An' 
noo I's aboot deun. Gi' me yer hands, beath on 
ye, an' say ye'll deu what I tell ye. Wilfrid ! thoo'll 
be advised by Jobby. Jobby ! thoo'll be true frind 
to my pooar lad, as if I was theear to see. 
Promish ! " 

This was a langish noration for a body wid t' 
breath leavin him, an' when it was deun he laid 
back on his pilliver, an' leuk't at them varra wistful- 
like, till they promish't, an' it was a bit afooar 
they cud, for by this time they war beath on them 
yewlin, t' yan ower t' udder, whedder to yewl t' 

When t' oald man was bury't oot o' geat, Wilfrid 
an' Jobby wurk't away togidder varra cannily. Job 
bowte t' stock for t' Booin-leys, an' selt them as 
they fatten't off, an' enter't o' iv a big beuk 'at Wiff 
niver so much as leuk't atween t' backs on. He'd 
his fadder's last wurds for Jobby deein what was 
reet, an' they war aneuf. 

Nowte com to put owder on them oot of his way, 
till Wiff gat a wife or mebbe I wad be narder t' 
truth if I said, a wife gat Wiff for when ivery body 

Wise Wiff. 27 

seed 'at he went on i' sec a stiddy soort of a way 
gittin heavy incomins i' rent, an' interest, an' shares, 
an' neabody kent what ; an' makin varra leet oot- 
gangins, it was plain aneuf 'at he wad seun be yan 
o' t' yablest men i' thur parts, an' t 7 lasses begon to 
cock ther caps at him of o' sides 'specially them 
'at thowte a man isn't wurth hevin if he hesn't a bit 
o' t' feace o' t' yurth ; an' efter a while yan o' that 
mack fassen't Wiffy. 

She mead him a fairish wife, as wives gang, an' if 
she'd no'but been wise aneuf ta tack him as he was, 
an' let things ga on as they hed deun, o' wad been 
weel ; but she cudn't bide t' thowtes of oanin', owder 
till hersel' or udder fwoke, 'at she'd weddit a Tommy 
Moakison for t' seak of his brass ; an' sooa she 
keept eggin him on to dee his can turns, an' let 
fwoke see 'at he wasn't sec a natteral as he was co't. 
It was this whim-wham o' t' wife's 'at gat him t' 
nick-neam of Wise Wiff, an' it corn tul him i' this 
geat. Amang t' stock ga'n on t' Booin-leys ya year 
there happen't to be hoaf a scwore of as bonnie 
Galloway Scots as iver hed yar o' t' ootside on 
them. Jobby hed bowte them i' t' spring o' t' year 
at a guddish price, acoase he seed ther was munny 
to be gitten oot on them efter a summer's run 
iv a gud pastur'. Just as they war ruddy for a 
customer, an' Wiff was thinkin o' ga'n doon to 
Jobby to toke aboot sellin on them, t' wife says 
"There's a butcher cummin fray Cockerm'uth 

28 Wise Wiff. 

to-day aboot buyin them Scots." " Whey than, 1 ' 
says Wilfrid, " I's just step doon to Jobby, an' tell 
him to cum up an' meet t' butcher. 1 ' "Thoo'll dee 
nowte o' t' mack," says t' mistress, "Thoo'll set to 
wark, as a gentlemen sud dee, an' let Jobby Jinki- 
son, an' ivery body else, see 'at thoo wants neabody 
to cum atween thee an' thy oan bisness." " Well, 
but," says Wiff, "I promish't fadder on his deith-bed 
'at Jobby sud dee o' t' buyin' an' sellin." "Niver 
thee mind that," says she, "fadder willn't cum back 
to claim thee promish, an' if he dud, I wad tell him 
'at if a promish isn't reet it's wrang to keep it. 
Thoo'll dee as I tell thee." " Well, but," says pooar 
Wiffy agean, " fadder mead me varra nar sweear 
tul't." "Shaff o' thee fadder!" s^ys she, "What 
sense is ther i' flingin a deid fadder iv a leevin wife's 
fea.ce i' this ugly fashin. Does t'e know what t : 
scriptur' says aboot it 1 'at a man mun leave his 
fadder and mudder, an' stick till his wife ! I say 
agean, sell thee oan guds thee oan sel', an' mack t' 
best thoo can on them." "But hoo's I to ken what 
price to ex," says he. "Whey," says she, "cannot 
thoo leuk into t' beuk 'at Jobby writes o' doon in, 
an' finnd t' price he pait for them ? That'll be a 
guide for the'. But I wad rayder loase a pund or 
two, if I was thee, nor be mead a barne on any 
lang-er." Like many a cliverer fellow, pooar Wiff 
fund ther was nowte for't but lettin his wife hev her 
way ; an' when t' butcher com, he went reet ower 

Wise Wiff. 29 

wid him to t' fields whoar t' bullocks was ga'n, an' 
sel't them tull him oot o' hand. 

Iv his rwoad heam he went roond by Jurtinsyke 
to tell Jobby of his mwornin's wark. Jobby leuk't 
rayder strucken iv a heap when he hard it; but efter 
considerin a lal bit, he said, "Weel, maister," (he 
oalas spack respectful-like to pooar Wilfrid, dud 
Jobby his-sel, an' he wadn't let any body else dee 
udder ways when he was theear.) " Weel, maister," 
says Jobby, "I willn't oalas be here to mannish for 
ye, an' yd may as weel begin noo as efter I's gean 
to try yer fist at tradin. But what gat ye for t' 
Scots ? " "I dud bravely, lad," says Wiff, I dud 
bravely. I gat nine pund ten a heid for them." 
" Nine pund ten ! " Jobby shootit, " Whey, that's 
what I geh for them mair nor five munth sen ! " 
" I ken that," says Wiff, " I teuk a peep into t' girt 
belik, an' fund theear what thu'd gi'en for them." 
"An' ye just gat what they cost i' t' spring?" says 
Jobby. " I think if ye carry on a trade like that 
owte sa lang, ye'll be mackin' t' oald maister's 
munny bags leuk gaily wankle." " Munny bags," 
says Wiff, " What's t' use o' toakin' aboot munny 
bags ? T' munny bags is seaf aneuf sa lang as I git 
as much for beasts as I gt' for them. I think I've 
mead a varra fair trade, whativer thoo may think." 
"Aih dear ! aih dear!" says Job, "it wad mack t' 
oald maister git up oot o' his grave if he cud hear this. 
Whoar's t' rent o' t' land to cum fray wid yer fair 

30 Wise Wiff. 

trade." "T rent o' t' land, thoo oald neudles," 
says Wiff, "t' rent o' what land? T' land's my 
oan ! " 

Sooa Mistress Wanklethet fund 'at her fadder- 
in-lo', kent his sun better nor she dud her man ; an' 
o' 'at com of her middlin was to git her husband a 
nickneam an' mack him a by-wurd ; for iver sen, 
when any body theear aboots macks a queerish 
bargin, somebody else is suer to say, "T' land's 
my oan, says Wise Wiff ! " 


|AL Dinah Grayson's fresh, fewsome, an' free, 
Wid a lilt iv her step an' a glent iv her e'e ; 
She glowers ebbem at md whativer I say, 
An' meastly mak's answer wid " M'appen I may ! " 
"M'appen I may," she says, "m'appen I may; 
Thou thinks I believe the', an' m'appen I may !" 

Gay offen, when Dinah I manish to meet 
O' Mundays, i' t' market i' Cockerm'uth street, 
I whisper, "Thou's nicer nor owte here to-day," 
An' she cocks up her chin an' says, " M'appen I may ! 
M'appen I may, my lad, m'appen I may ; 
There's nowte here to crack on, an' m'appen I 
may ! " 

She's smart oot o' dooars she's tidy i' t' hoose ; 

Snod as a mowdy-warp sleek as a moose. 

I' blue goon, i' black goon, i' green goon or grey, 

I tell her she's reeght, an' git "M'appen I may ! " 
" M'appen I may," she'll say, "m'appen I may, 
Thou kens lal aboot, but m'appen I may ! " 

32 Lai Dinah Gray son. 

There's nut mickle on her, we ken 'at gud stuff 
Laps up i' lal bundles, an' she's lal aneuf; 
There's nowte aboot Dinah were better away 
But her comical* ower-wurd "M'appen I may." 
"M'appen I may," it's still, "m'appen I may." 
Whativer yan wants yan gits "nT'appen I may !" 

An' it shaps to be smittal ; whoariver I gang, 
I can't tell a stwory I can't sing a sing 
I can't hod a crack, nay ! I can't read or pray 
Widout bringin' in her dang't "M'appen I may." 
" M'appen I may," it cums, " m'appen I may ; " 
Asteed of Amen, I say "m'appen I may." 

But she met me ya neeght aside Pards'aw Lea yatt 
I tock her seaf heam, but I keep't her oot leat, 
An' offen I said i' my oan canny way, 
" Will t'6 like me a lal bit ? "Whey, M'appen I 
may ! 

M'appen I may, Harry m'appen I may ; 

Thou's rayder a hoaf-thick, but m'appen I may ! " 

I prist her to wed me" I said I was pooar, 
But eddlin aneuf to keep hung-er frayt' dooar. 
She leuk't i' my feace, an' than, hoaf turn't away, 
She hung doon her heid an' said "M'appen I may ! 
M'appen I may!" (low doon) "m'appen I may, 
I think thoo means fairly, an' m'appen I may." 

* Comical, used thus, means Pert, in central Cumberland. 

Lai Dinafa Gray son. 33 

We're hingin' i't' bell reaps* to t' parson I've toak't, 
An' I gev him a hint as he maffelt an' jwoak't, 
To mind when she sud say "love, honour, OBEY," 
'At she doesn't slip through wid her "M'appen I 


M'appen I may, may be m'appen I may, 
But we moont put up than wid a "m'appen I 

* During the period required for the publication of banns, a 
couple are said, figuratively, to be "hinging in t' bell ropes." 




"Git oot wid the', Jwohnny, thou's no'but a fash ; 
Thou'll come till thou raises a desperat clash ;* 
Thou's here ivery day just to put yan aboot, 
An' thou moiders yan terrably Jwohnny, git oot ! 

What says t'e? T's bonnie? Whey! That's nowte 

'at's new. 

Thou's wantin a sweetheart? Thou's hed a gay few! 
An' thou's cheatit them, yan efter t' t'udder, nea 

doubt ; 
But I's nut to be cheatit sea Jwohnny, git oot ! 

There's plenty o" lads i' beath Lamplugh an' Dean 
As yabble as thee, an' as weel to be seen ; 
An' I med tack my pick amang o' there aboot 
Does t'd think I'd ha'e thee, than? Hut, Jwohnny, 
git oot ! 

* Clash Scandal. 

Jwohnny, git oot! 35 

What? Nut yan amang them 'at likes me sa weel ? 
Whey, min there's Dick Walker an' Jonathan Peel 
Foorsettin' me ola's i' t' lonnins aboot, 
Beath wantin' to sweetheart me Jwohnny, git oot ! 

What? Thou will hev a kiss? Ah, but tak't if 

thou dar ! 

I tell the', I'll squeel, if thou tries to cu' nar. 
Tak' care o' my collar Thou byspel, I'll shoot. 
Nay, thou sha'n't hev anudder Noo Jwohnny, git 


Git oot wid the', Jwohnny Thou's tew't me reet sair; 
Thou's brocken my comb, an' thou's toozelt my hair. 
I willn't be kiss't, thou unmannerly loot ! 
Was t'ere iver sec impidence ! Jwohnny, git oot ! 

Git oot wid the', Jwohnny I tell the', be deun. 
Does t'e think I'll tak'upwid AnnDixon'soald sheun? 
Thou ma' ga till Ana Dixon, an' pu' hur aboot, 
But thou s'alln't pu' me, sea Jwohnny, git oot ! 

Well ! That's sent him off, an' I's sworry it hes ; 
He med ken a lass niver means hoaf 'at she says. 
He's a reet canny fellow, howiver I floot, 
An' it's growin o' wark to say " Jwohnny, git oot ! " 


My fadder said "Nay" an' my mudder said 

When Willie furst telt them we wantit to wed ; 
We mud part they said, beath part at yance an" 
for iver, 

An' she deavet me to deeth aboot foats 'at he hed. 
A sailor was Will, forret, free-tonguet, an' funny, 

An' gi'en till o' manner o' teulment was he ; 
Rayder lowce i' religion, an' careless o' money, 

But dear was my wild thowtless Willie to me. 

His life seemed mead up of arrivin's an' sailin's 

Rough hardship ajt sea, an' fair daftness at heam. 
I cry't ow'r his danger I pray't, ow'r his failin's, 

An' oifen forgev what I cudn't but bleam. 
An' many a frind an' relation, an' neighbour 

Brong hints an' queer teals aboot Will to poor me 
Bdt neighbours an' frinds gat the'r pains for the'r 

For t' mair they misco't him t' mair thowte on 
was he. 

The Runaway Wedding. 37 

An' t' upshot of o' the'r fine hints an" advices 

Was 'at, ya neet, weel happ't i' Will's greet sailor 

We dreav, afoor dayleet, to Foster Penrice's, 

An' slip't ow'r till Annan i' t' Skinburneese bwoat. 
An' theer we wer' weddit, i' their way o' weddin' ; 

I dudn't hafe like't, but they said it wad dee ; 
An' I dar-say it may'd for a lass 'at was bred in 

Their ways but it wasn't like weddin' to me. 

An' when Will brong me back, varra sham-feacet 
an' freetent, 

Ower t' sin an' disgrace on't my mudder went 

Sair, sair dud my heart- sink, but bravely it leeten't 

When Will prist me close up beside him, an'smil'd. 
My fadder said lal, no'but whishtit my mudder, 

An' pettit an' blest me wid tears iv his e'e ; 
Till beath on us ru't what hed gi'en him sec bodder, 

An' sham't of our darrak steud Willie an' me. 

Eigh for loave, he was kind! an' he wad hev us 

As t' rest of his barnes hed been menseful an' 


He leuk't at oor Scotch weddin'-writin' an' read it, 
But went up to t' Priest's aboot t' license that neet. 

38 The Runaway Wedding. 

An' he keep't me at heam, though we hed a hoose 


He said he mud hev me, while Will follow't t' sea. 
An' Will ! weddin' mead him douce, careful, an' 

An' he's hoddenly been a gud husband to me. 

He seun hed a ship of his oan, an' mead money, 

An' seav't it, what he reckoned harder by far ; 
An', ola's weel-natur't, free-heartit an' funny, 

He mead his-sel frinds wid whativer com' nar. 
An' es for my mudder, 'at thowte me so silly, 

An' lang nowte but bad i' poor Willie wad see, 
I's thenkful she leevet to say "Bless thee son Willie, 

"Many cumforts we've hed, but me&st cumfort i' 



O for Billy Watson' lonnin' of a lownd summer neeght ! 
When t' stars come few an' flaytely, efter weerin' 

oot day-leeght 
When t' black-kite blossom shews itsel' i' hafe-seen 

gliffs o' grey, 
An' t' honey-suckle's scentit mair nor iver it is i' t' 

An' nut a shadow, shap' or soond, or seeght, or 

sign 'at tells 
'At owte 'at's wick comes santerin' theer but you, 

yer oan two sel's. 

Ther' cannot be anudder spot so private an' so sweet, 
As Billy Watson' lonnin' of a lownd summer neeght! 

T' Hempgarth Broo's a cheersome pleace when t' 

whins bloom full o' flooar 
Green Hecklebank turns greener when it's watter't 

wid a shooar 
There's bonnie neuks aboot Beckside, Stocks-hill, 

an' Greystone Green 
High Woker Broo gi'es sec a view as isn't offen seen 

4O Billy Watson Lonning. 

It's glorious doon ont' Sandy-beds when t' sun's just 

gan to set 
An' t' Clay-Dubs isn't far aslew when t' wedder isn't 

But nin was mead o' purpose theer a bonnie lass to 

Like Billy Watson' lonnin'of a lownd summer neeght. 

Van likes to trail ow'r t' Sealand-fields an' watch for 

t' comin' tide, 
Or slare whoar t' Green hes t' Ropery an' t' Shore 

of ayder side 
T' Weddriggs road's a lal-used road, an' reeght for 

coortin toke 
An' Lowca' lonnin's reeght for them 'at like a 

langsome woke 

Van's reeght aneuf up t' Lime-road, or t' Waggon- 
way, or t' Ghyll, 
An' reeght for ram'lin's Cunning-wood or Scatter- 

mascot hill. 
Ther's many spots 'at's reeght aneuf, but nin o' 

ways so reeght 
As Billy Watson' lonnin' of a lownd summer neeght. 

Sec thowtes as thur com' thick lang sen to yan, a 

lonterin' lad, 
Wid varra lal to brag on but a sperrit niver sad, 

Billy Watson Lonning. 41 

When he went strowlin' far an' free aboot his sea-side 

An' stamp't a mark upon his heart of ivery frind-like 

neam ; 
A mark 'at seems as time drees on to deepen mair 

an' mair 
A mark 'at ola's breeghtens meast i' t' gloom o' 

comin' care ; 
But nowte upon his heart has left a mark 'at hods 

so breeght 
As Billy Watson' lonnin' of a lownd summer neeght ! 

Oor young days may'd be wastet sair, but dar their 

mem'ry's dear ! 
And what wad yan not part wid noo agean to hev 

them here 1 
Whativer trubles fash't us than, though naycler leet 

nor few, 
They niver fash't us hafe so lang as less an's fash 

us noo ; 
If want o' thowte brong bodderment, it pass't for 

want o' luck, 
An' what cared we for Fortun's bats, hooiver feurce 

she struck ? 
It mud be t' time o' life 'at mead oor happiness 

I' Billy Watson' lonnin' of a lownd summer neeght ! 


Deid winter's nut sa dark to me 

As t' lang leet days o' t' spring ; 
I hate to see a swallow flee, 

Or hear a throssle sing ; 
I grean 'at t' fresh green leaves on t' trees ; 

I turn frae t' flooers o' May, 
For t' croft was white wid dog-daisies 

When Jwohn was tean away. 

We coortit lang, dud Jwohn an' me 

We waitit lang an' sair 
He thowte oor weddin' mudn't be 

While beath war poor an' bare ; 
An' sep'rat', I gat past my prime, 

Jwohn barrow-back't an 1 grey ; 
Reet sair I grudg't that wastit time, 

When Jwohn was tean away. 

Jwohn pinch't an' spar't, an' tew't an' streav, 
Till t' heart wid-in him brak' 

Still aimin' brass aneuf to seav, 
Some lal bit farm to tak' : 

Lone and Weary. 43 

An' when he'd gitten t' farm an' me, 

'Twas plain he mudn't stay ; 
He d wined through t' winter dark an' dree 

F t' spring was tean away. 

We may'd hed many a happy year, 

If thowte to t' winds we'd flung, 
An' join't oor strength life's lead to beear, 

When beath war lish an' yung : 
But widder't was oor flooer o' life 

Afoor oor weddin' day ; 
An' I'd nut been ya year a wife 

When Jwohn was tean away. 

Sooa t' spring o' life na summer browte, 

To my poor man or me ; 
An' t' spring o' t' year noo brings me nowte 

But t' mind o' misery. 
I can't see what anudder sees 

I' t' fields an' t' flooers o' May, 
For t' croft was white wid dog-daisies 

When Jwohn was tean away. 



This phrase is proverbial in central Cumberland, and is 
generally used in a negative sense ; thus, of a person whose 
character for upright conduct will not bear the full light of 
day, it is said, "He's nut t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick." 

Lang an' leat we ma' lait throo fray Fiend's-fell* 
to Fles'ick,t 

Afooar we'll finnd mair ner ya fellow or two 
Yan can fairly an' freely co' t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick 

Oald Cum'erlan' t'sel' on't hods no'but a few ! 
An' hoo mun us tell when we div happen on them ? 

Whey, that, just off-hand, isn't easy to say ! 
But sum of o' yages hev marks plain upon them 

Showin' they're nin o' t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick 
nut they ! 

We ma' leet on a barne wid t' leuk of ill-natur' 
An' spite glowerin' oot of a widderful fe&ce ; 

A lean, discontentit, cross, gyversome creetur', 
'At kens hoo to mak' its-sel' t' maister o' t' pleace 

* Fiend's-fell, an old name for Cross-fell, on the eastern 
verge of the county. 

f- The beautiful secluded bay which divides the two Heads 
of St. Bees, the most westerly points of Cumberland, is called 

T' clean Ned d Kesick. 45 

'At yowls when it wants owte, an' glumps when it 

gits it, 

Till o' but it's mudder wad droon't iv a kit ; 
An' t' mair 'at she dantles, an' pampers, an' pets it, 
T' less like to growe t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick 
growes it. 

Or mayhap, a lal lad 'at tells teals of his brudders, 

An' cocks his-sel' up, an example to t' rest 
'At seavs his oan laikins an' laiks wid anudder's, 

An' geaps for owte gud like a gorb iv a nest ; 
'At boggles at lowpy-back, rack-ups, or shinny, 

An' keeps his-sel' ootside o' t' ruck at foot-bo ; ; 
They ma' praise him 'at hes him I'd lay my last 

He .s' niver be t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick for o'. 

Or a rovin' yung chap 'at ga's hard efter t' lasses, 

An' stuffs them wid o' maks o' flaitchment an' lees; 
Ol'a's smurkin' an' smilin' an' fair to the'r feaces, 

But skiftin' his mattie as fancy ma' please 
Tackin' up at t' lang last, efter feulin a duzzen, 

Wid sumbody's dowter he thinks weel to dee ; 
A taggelt like that sud be hatit like puzzen 

He'll niver be t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick, nut he ! 

46 T' clean Ned o Kesick. 

Or a man 'at likes brass, an' cheats o' maks o' ways 


An' clowks at advantage whoariver he can ; 
An' taks drink gaily free when anudder chap pays 


But wi'n't stand his share iv a shot like a man : 
'At ol'a's for sum durty profit ligs watchin' ; 
'At keeps o' he cares for anonder ya hat ; 
An' pays what he owes fwok wid phraisin' or 


He munnet be t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick moon't 

Or a swaddlin' oald sneak, wid a snowk an' a snivel, 

'At kests up his e'en when he hears a ruff jwoke ; 

Co'in sangs an' queer stwories o' 'ticements o' t' 


An' snirrups his nwose up at t' praise o' poor fwok : 
'At grunts agean wrusslin's, fairs, hoond-trails an' 


An' see-like divarsions, as sinful an' vain, 
Winkin' hard at t' seam time at war sins i' hee 

He niver was t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick that's plain. 

Nay ! for be what it may be his yeage, steat or 

A man hollow heartit, unfrindly, unfair, 
Makin' mair nor reet use of a lofe or occasion, 

Grippin' hard by his oan, an' still grankin' for mair; 

T' clean Ned o Kesick. 47 

'At can toak like a bishop, an' hod back his meanin', 
But can't wid his neighbours or kinsfwoke agree ; 

Keepin' bleamin' an' backbitin', grudgin' an' 

He cannot be t' clean Ned o' Kes'ick can't he. 

4 8 


Kersmas is hardly Kersmas noo ! 

Nowte's left like what it used to be 
T' yall's nut what they used to brew 

An' t' fun's nut what we used to see 
T' lasses irn't hoaf sa smart, 

For o' the'r fallal hats an' veils, 
An' music niver sturs yan's heart 

Like "T' Hunt's Up" played by oald Ben Wales. 

"T' Hunt's Up" of a Kersmas mworn, 

When stars war breet an' frost was keen, 
Wad roose us like a hunter's whom, 

Whativer hakes ower neet we'd seen. 
An' dar ! 'twas nice to snug i' bed, 

An' lissen oot that brave oald lilt, 
An' hear, at ivery stave they played, 

Gud wishes shootin* t' chorus till 't. 

Ben Wales's fiddle, many a neet, 

Gev weel oiled springs to t' heaviest heels, 

For few cud whyet hod the'r feet 

When Ben strack up his heartenin' reels. 

Ben Wells. 49 

Wid elbow room an' rozel't weel, 

Swinge ! how he'd mak' fwoke keav an' prance; 
An' nowte cud match t' sly fiddle-squeal 

'At signall'd kiss i' t' cushion dance. 

Noo, poor Ben Wales is deid an' gean 

His marrow willn't seun be seen ; 
But rare top dancers many a yan; 

He's left to keep his memory green. 
Nea mair at ball or oald-fwoke's-neet 

We'll see his gud reet elbow jog ; 
An' when they laid Ben oot o' sect, 

T' oald cushion dance went oot o' vogue. 

Fwoke's ways turn different, t' langer t' mair, 

An' what, lang sen, was reet 's grown wrang ; 
We're, meast on us, owre fine to care 

For heamly dance, teun, teal, or sang. 
An' nowte's mead varra lastin' here, 

T' best bow-hand growes oald an' fails, 
-An' t' lishest legs git num' an' queer ; 

Few last sa weel as oald Ben Wales. 


The late Benjamin Wells was, for about half a century, the 

best known and most popular of all the dancing-masters who 

have plied their vocation amongst the country people of West 

Cumberland ; and, as a teacher of the old-fashioned style of 


50 Ben Wells. 

dancing, in which vigour, activity, and precision are, rather 
than gracefulness, the main desiderata, he has never been 
surpassed. As a violin player his performance was remark- 
ably correct, distinct, and strongly marked as to time in fact, 
the best possible fiddling to dance to. The last time I met 
with him was about twenty years ago, in the bar-parlour of an 
inn in the southern part of the Lake district, which was some- 
what out of his ordinary beat, and where the strains of his 
fiddle, produced at my request, caused such excitement that a 
general and very uproarious dance (of males only) set in, and 
was kept up with such energy that, the space being confined, 
the furniture was seriously damaged, and Ben was at last 
ejected by the landlady as the readiest, indeed the only method 
of putting a stop to the riot. He was light, muscular, and 
springy, and, in his earlier years, wonderfully swift of foot, so 
much so that the late Dr. Johnstone, of Cockermouth, told 
me that he once (at Scale Hill) saw him, without any assist- 
ance, run down and capture a wild rabbit a proof of activity 
rarely paralleled. Poor old Ben ! It will be long ere his 
erect, compact little figure, his bright, cheery expression, his 
sprightly address, and his quick firm step are altogether 
forgotten in the western dales and seaward parishes of Cum- 
berland. REQUIESCAT ! 


Sannter, Bella ! Bliss the', sannter, 

Th'u'll be seun aneuf at heara ; 
Ga/n frae t' church at sec a cannter, 

Fwoke '11 sweer th'u's thinkin' sham' 
Sham' 'at I sud woak aside the' ! 

Does t'e, Bella, sham' o' me 1 
Whey than, bide the', dar it, bide the,' ! 

Few's sa leet o' t' feut as thee. 

See's t'e, Bella, nay but, see's t'e, 

Hoo th'u's makin' t' ne'bours laugh ; 
Th'u's a taistrel fair 'at is t'e, 

But I like thee weel Hut, shaff ! 

Whoa can tell his stwory runnin 1 

Whoa can coort an' win a reace ? 
If th'u's flay't I's foase, or funnin', 

Stop, an' leuk me fair i' t' fe&ce ! 

Leuk, an' see if I wad cheat the' 
Leuk, I tell the', glimes wont dee ! 

Whativer wrang't the', I wad reet the', 
Whoa-iver fails the', trust i' me. 

52 Saunter, Bella ! 

Wait ! Nay, tak' mair time, I pray the'- 
Shuttin' frae yan like a dart 

Nowte for nowte I's axin' frae the' 
Nowte for nowte, but heart for heart. 

Sannter, than ! Nay, Bella, sannter ! 

I'll nut say ya wurd 'at's wrang, 
But th'u's a wannter ! I's a wannter ! 

An' nowder sud be wannters lang. 
Thoo kens what sec a hekm I've gitten 

Kens o' 's reet, an' straight, an' square 
Kens o' wad fit the' like a mitten ; 

What the hangment wad t'e mair 1 

Sannter ! sannter ! ! sannter, Bella ! ! ! 

Gi' me time to tell my teal ; 
Tis n't kind to mak' a fellow 

T laughin-stock of hoaf o' t' deal. 
Does t'e think o' 's nut fairation ? 

Hes t'e any foat to finnd ? 
Nay ! Whey than, ther's nea 'casion 

Huh By jing, I's oot o' wind ! 

'Beat thy speed ! Dar sonn, I'll ho'd the' ! 

Ho'd the' till I've said my say 
Till my heart's ya wish I've shew'd the', 

Gittin' back for 't ey or nay. 

Sannter, Bella ! 53 

Wil't'e than, say, wil't'e wed me 1 

Ah ! Thou wadn't still say no ! 
Faith ! a bonnie dance th'u's led me, 

But that lal squeeze mak's up for o' ! 

T' squeeze frae thy smo' fing-ers, Bella ! 

Trimlin' here i' my rough hand ; 
It's queer a touch sa leet can tell a 

Teal sa plain to understand ; 
It's queerer thoo sud be sa freeten't, 

Flay't when nowte at o' 's amiss. 
Loavin' ! How thy feace hes breeten't, 

Reedenin' up at t' furst fair kiss. 




'At Marron Beck's a bonnie beck, what mazelin wad 

An' what compares wi' Branthet Neuk 'at Marron 

Beck ga's by 1 
Wid hooses white, an' worchets green, an' Marron 

runnin' clear, 
Eigh ! Branthet Neuk's a heartsome spot i' t' sunny 

time o' year ! 

But loave ! it is a dowly pleace when winter neeghts 

growe lang ; 
For t' Iwoan ligs dark atween its banks, a flaysome 

rwoad to gang 
When t' wind rwoars wild in t' trees abeun, an' 

Marron rwoars below, 
An' Branthet Neuk's a hantit spot, as I've some 

reeght to know. 

Branthet Neuk Boggle. 55 

They say a heidless woman woaks at sartin neeghts 

o' t' year, 
An' greans an' yewls at sec a rate as freeghtens 

fwoke to hear ; 
I wadn't mind sec teals, but yance I gat a freeght 


I' Branthet Neuk, an' hoo it was, just lissen an' I'll 


Ya neeght, lang sen, at Cursmass time, wid 

Cursmass mak' o' wedder, 

A lock on us at Branthet met, to hev a glass togidder ; 
We crack't, an' jwok't, an' drank, an' smeuk't, while 

hoaf o' t' neeght went by, 
For Isbel Simon' drink was gud, an' we war rayder 


'Twas lownd an' leat past yan o'clock wid nut a 

spark o' moon : 
An' like a clood o' cardit woo', thick snow keep't 

sinkin' doon, 
When reeght up t' Neuk three Jwohn's an' me went 

wadin' heam through t' snow 
Jwohn Suntan, an' Jwohn Bell o' t' Rayes, an' 

Jwohn o' Craypless Ho'. 

56 Branthet Neuk Boggle. 

We'd gitten hoaf o' t' way up t' Iwoan, nar Edard 

Beeby' yat, 
An' theear we stopp't, for marcy me ! a parlish 

freeght we gat, 
Lood greans we heard lang hollow beels, 'at shak't 

oor varra beans, 
"For God-seak, lads, mak on," sez yan, "them's f 

heidless woman' greans ! " 

"But nay," sez I, "if wantin' t' held, she raises sec 

a rout, 
I'd like to see what way she taks to fetch sec 

haybays oot ; 
They say yan stops a woman's noise when yan taks 

off her heid, 
But this, by gock ! wad mak yan sweer they're noisy 

whick or deid." 

It's Burns 'at sez Jwohn Barleycworn can mak yan 

bold as brass ; 
An' Isbel' drink mead me quite keen this greanin' 

thing to feace. 
We shootit Edard Beeby up an' mead 'im git a 

He grummel't sair to be disturb't at sec a time o' 


Branthet Neuk Boggle. 5 7 

But brong yan oot; an', led bee t' lugs, we follow't 

efter t' soond, 
While clwose t' swine-hull dooar we com, an' stopt, 

an' gedder't roond. 
" By gockers, lads ! " Jwohn Suntan said, " It's no'but 

Edard' swine !" 
"Nay, nay," sez Edard, "mine's i' scat it's nea 

pig o' mine !" 

"Well, I'll ga in, an' see," sez I. O' t' rest steud 

leukin on 
As in I creept wid t' leeght, an' fund greit lang Joe 

Hoaf cover't up wid mucky strea, soond asleep, 

and snworin\ 
As if o' t' bulls o' Dean war theear, an' ivery bull 

was rwoarin'. 

We trail't him oot, an' prop't him up agean t' oald 

swine-hull wo' 
An' dazet wid coald he glower't aboot, an' dadder't 

like to fo' 
We help't 'im in, an' hap't 'im weel, on t' squab 

aback o' t' dooar, 
He said his wife had barr't 'im oot, as oft she'd 

deun afooar. 

58 Branthet Neuk Boggle. 

Sez Jwohn o' t' Rayes, "If iv'ry neeght he maks sa 

gurt a din, 

It's rayder queer a wife like his sud iver let 'im in ; 
It's varra weel we hard 'im though, he med ha' 

dee't o' coald ! 
Come, let's git heam ! " an' laughin' loud, we lonter't 

oot o' t' foald. 

Jwohn Suntan's rwoad left oor's gay seun, an' sooa 

dud Jwohn Bell's, 
An' Jwohn o' Craypless Ho' an' me went poapin on 

An' no'but slow, for t' snow was thick, an' mead it 

bad to woke, 
Sooa mid-leg deep we striddel't on, but oifen steud 

to toke. 

Jwohn hed a faymish crack in 'im, his fadder hed 

afooar 'im, 
At teals an' sangs, an' sec like fun not many cud cum 

ower 'im ; 
An' thear an' than, dud Jwohn set on, at t' furst gud 

rist we teuk, 
To tell me hoo ther com to be a ghost i' Branthet 


Branthet Neuk Boggle. 59 

Sez Jwohn, sez he, " I' Branthet Neuk, as varra weel 

thoo knows, 
'Tween t' beck an' Edard Beeby' hoose ther stands 

some brocken wo's ; 
Lang sen, when they hed roofs on them, yance, 

leatish on i' t' year, 
Some tinkler fwoke gat leave fray t' Iword, an' com 

to winter theear. 

"Two oald fwoke, wid a scrowe o' barns, an' ya 

son, just a man, 
A handy chap to shap' a speun, or cloot a pot or 

An' this chap hed a bonnie wife, 'at dudn't leuk like 

t' rest, 
But fair, clean-skinn't, an' leady-like, an' ol'as nicely 


"An' hoo she com to be wid them was niver reeghtly 

But nebbers so' she wasn't used as if she'd been ther 

For t' oald fwoke soas't her neet an' day, her man 

a durty tike ! 
Wad bray her wid a besom-stick, a thyvel, or sec 


6o Branthet Neuk Boggle. 

"Tull yance a nebber teuk her in, when t' tinklers 

flang her oot, 
An' she let fo' a wurd or two 'at brong a change 

aboot ; 
She telt o' sum stown geese an' sheep, an' whoar 

they hed them hidden ; 
Of mutton up on t' sleeping loft, an' skins anonder 

t' midden. 

" It wasn't many wurds she said, but wurds she 

said anew 
To bring t' oald tinkler and her man tull what was 

weel ther due ; 
For lang i' Carel jail they laid, an' when t' assize 

com on, 
T' Judge let t' oald waistrel lowce agean, but hang't 

his whopeful son. 

"An' back frae Carel t' tinkler com, to Branthet 

reeght away, 
An' 'ticet t' poor lass frae t' nebber's hoose whoar 

she'd been fain to stay ; 
He promish't fair to treat her weel, an' dud while t' 

seckint neeght, 
An' than, (reeght pleas't was Branthet fwok,) he 

mead a moonleeght fleeght. 

Branthet Neuk Boggle. 6 1 

"An' days went by an' neabody went nar to t' 

tinkler's dooar, 
At last some barns peep't in an' so' some huller't 

bleud on t' flooar, 
An' than t' hoose dooar was druven in, an' sec a 

seeght was theer, 
'At sum 'at so' 't went reid wid reage, an' sum went 

white wid fear. 

"Squeez't up intull a durty neiik, an' bleudy, stark, 

an' deid, 
They fund that nice young lass's corp, bit niver 

fund her heid ; 
T' oald tinkler hoond hed hagg't it off afooar he 

mead a fleeght on 't, 
An' tean it wid him, fwoke suppwos't, to gud his-sel' 

wid t' sect on't. 

"An' nin o' t' clan at efter that i' t' country side was 

But iver sen a hantit spot hes that Neuk-lonning 

For t' murder't woman wokes aboot, an' greans, for 

o' she's deid, 
As Igod as what we hard to-neeght, they say she 

laits her heid!" 

62 Branthet Neuk Boggle. 

"Wey, weel deun, Jwohn !" to Jwohn sez I, "an' 

thenks ta for thy teal, 
It's mead me hoaf forgit hoo t' snow maks o' my 

teeks gekl ; 
Th'u's just at hekm, gud neeght, my lad, but furst 

hear this fray me, 
If iVry teM 'at's telt be true, thy stwory's nea lee ! " 


Bonnie Mary Ray an' me 

Wer' barnish sweethearts lang, 
But I was wild an' yung, an' she - 

Was niver reetly strang ; 
Sooa frinds o' beath sides threep't it sair 

'At partit we sud be 
An' life was darken't t' lang-er t' mair 

To Mary Ray an' me. 

But yance lal Mary Ray an' me 

Met oot on Woker Broo, 
When t' clouds burn't reid far oot at sea, 

An' t' sun com' bleezin' through, 
An' sent ya lang-droan glissenin' gleam 

Across that dowly sea, 
Like t' leetenin' up o' life's dark dream 

To Mary Ray an' me. 

An' "Sees t'e, Mary Ray," I says, 
" That lang low line o' leet ; 

It cums to say oor leater days 
May yit be fair an' breet, 

64 Mary Ray an' me. 

An' t' cloods 'at darken owre us noo 
May rive like yon we see, 

An' t' sun o' love cum glentin through, 
To shine on thee an' me." 

But Mary lean't her sinkin heid 

Agean my heavin' breist. 
" Turn roond," she said, " an' say asteed, 

What reads t'e here i' t' East ; 
For t' East's mair sure to guide us reet, 

If dark an' coald it be ; 
It's liker life nor that reid leet 

To Mary Ray an' thee." 

I turn't an' leuk't wid bodeful glooar, 

Whoar o' was coald an' gray, 
An' like a ghost rease t' white church tooar, 

To freeten whope away ; 
An' Wokefs shadow heap't a gloom 

Owre beck, an' field, an' tree, 
'At said far darker days mud cum 

To Mary Ray an' me. 

An' niver mair on' Woker Broo 

I strowFt wid Mary Ray ; 
They partit us that winter through 

An' than I went away. 

Mary Ray an me. 65 

An' Mary in t' churchyard they'd laid 

When I com' back frae t' sea ; 
'Twas true what Woker's shadow said 

To Mary Ray an' me. 



yer jornas ooer Wa'na Scar to Seeathet 
ye'll offen aneeuf ha nooatis't a lot o' round 
heeaps o' steeans strinklet heear an' theear 
ooer t' feeace o' Bannasyde mooer : an' if ye leuk 
inta them fine maps 'at t' guverment's putten owt 
ye'll see 'at t' pleeace 'at's meeant for Bannasyde 
hes cairns, cairns, cairns dottit o' ooer 't. They 
wor sharp fellows wor t' surveyors 'at went ooer t' 
grund ut meeak thor maps. Ya lot o' them com' 
efter anudder for iver sa many years, sum wi' red 
cooats an' sum wi'out ; an' they teeuk for iver o' 
pains wi' the'r wark. Why, when yee yersel' gat a 
lile lump off aid Geoordie Flimming' field ut meeak 
yer bit of a gardin, efter they'd survey't an' mizzer't 
it, they went o' ooer t' grund a-fresh, just ut put it 
in; an' theear it is i' t' maps, as plain as t' field 

The Bannasyde Cairns. 67 

Bit about thor cairns. I mun tell yd 'at when I 
furst hard o' them, I didn't meeak end nor side 
o' what they cud be, an' I went tull Rodger Forness 
ut ex about them. Rodger kna's meear about sike 
things nor a deeal o' fooak ; sooa I went tull him, 
an' he telt me' 'at cairns was heeaps o' lilely steeans 
'at hed been rais't ooer t' graves o' girt men lang 
sen, afooer ther was any kirk-garths ut bury t'em in 
'at Dunmal Raise is t' biggest cairn i' t' country, 
an' 'at it was pilet up ooer a king 'at was kil't theear. 
Rodger an' me hed a gud laugh togidder ooer t' 
Bannasyde cairns, for we beeath kna't gaily weel 
how they com to be theear, but we said t' yan til't" 
tudder, " Let's hear, an' see, an' say nowte." 

Bit howiver, when them 'cute ordnance chaps, as 
they co't thersel's, was teean in wi' thor heeaps, it's 
lile wunder 'at a gentleman 'at leev't here yan Mr. 
Rowlins, sud ha' meead his-sel' cock suer 'at they 
wor nowder meear nor less nor sooa many lile 
Dunmal Raises, an' thowte he wod like ut see what 
they hed in bela' t'em ; an' as it wodn't be like a 
gentleman ut keep o' t' fun till his-sel', he ex't a 
lot of udder gentlemen, frinds o' his, mainly what 
parsons, fray aboot Ooston, ut come an' see t' 
cairns oppen't, an' t' grund under t'em groven up, 
ut finnd out what they cuver't. 

Well ! they o' torn't up true to t' day. Aid Billy 
Bamthet, Tommy Thackra, an' yan or two meear 
Cunniston chaps hed been hired ut due t' wark, an' 

68 The Bannasyde Cairns. 

away they o' went, out on Bannasyde, an' at it they 

O' t' fun 'at they gat, howiver, was a bit of laugh 
noos an' thans at aid Bamthet. He was a queer 
aid dog was Bamthet, an' he keep't exin' on them 
o' manner o' questions about what they wor laitin 
on. At ya time he wod say till a parson varra 
seriously, "Irr ye expectin' ul; finnd a Bishop?" 
at anudder he wod ex t'em if they thowte Moses 
was buriet theear. Bit nowte's nowte, whativer may 
be laitit for ! an' suer aneuf ther' was nowte ut be 
fund under t' heeaps o' steeans. 

It was a cald, sleety, slattery sooart of a day o' 
through, but they steeak tull the'r wark like Britons, 
tull it was turnin' sooa dark 'at aid Bamthet says, 
"Irr we ut hod at it any lang-er, Mr. Rowlins? 
Tommy Thackra's gittin' terrable teer't, an' it's 
growan sooa dark 'at we'll seeun nit be yable ut say 
whedder what we may finnd be t' beeans of a bishop 
or t' beeans of a billy-gooat, wi'out ther's some 
amang ye 'at kna's beeans by greeapin' at 'em." 

Well, they o' thowte they mud give it up for a bad 
job. They'd torn't ooer meear nor a scooer o' t' 
steean heeaps, an' they hedn't fund sa mich as t' 
shin beean of a cracket ut egg 'em on any farder. 
Sooa Mr. Rowlins tel't his men ut gidder up the'r 
hacks an' the'r speeads an' things, an' git away 

As they wor o' trailin away varra sla' an' varra 

The Bannasyde Cairns. 69 

whishtly, down Willy Garnett girt intak', aid 
Bamthet sidelt up till amang t' gentlemen, an' says, 
"Now, Mr. Rowlins," says he, "just tell us what 
ye thowte was to be fund i' t' clearin's o' t' Bracken- 
beds." "What do you call clearin's of Bracken-beds, 
William 1" Mr. Rowlins ex't. " Why ! dunnot ye 
kna," says Bamthet, "dunnot ye 'kna 'at t' farmers 
ma's t' brackens i' t' back-end, ut bed the'r beeas's 
wi'?" "Of course I know that," says Mr. Rowlins, 
" but what has mowing brackens to do with these 
cairns?" "Due wi' them 1 ?" says t' tudder, "why, 
ivery thing ut due wi' them ! How d'ye think the'r 
leys wad cum on if t' cobble steeans wor left liggin 
howe-strowe amang t' brackens when they com ut 
ma' t'em ? They gidder 'em off, to. be suer, an' pile 
'em up into t' heeaps 'at we've been wrowkin' 
amang o' t' day, an' yee co' cairns. I rackon cairns 
is t' genteel wurd for t' clearin's o' t' bracken-beds, 
bit I niver heer't 'em co't cairns afooer, an' I'll 
niver co' t'em cairns ageean t' aid neeam's reet 
aneeuf for fellows like me ! " 

Well, when they heer't t'is, t' parsons leuk't at t' 
gentlemen, an' t' gentlemen leeuk't at t' parsons, an' 
than they leeuk't yan at t' tudder o' round as they 
steeud, an' than they brast out wi' a laugh loud 
aneeuf ut raise o' t' ravens on t' Bell Crag an' o' t' 
gleads i' Buckbarrow. Efter they'd whyeten't down 
a bit, Mr. Rowlins says, " Well but, William, why 
didn't you tell us this before?" "Nay, nay,' V says 

yo The Bannasyde Cairns, 

t' aid thief, "I wosn't ga'n ut spoil yer day's spooart 
i' that fashi'n, when ye'd browte yer frinds sa far ut 
see't That wodn't ha' been manners !" An' away 
down t' intak' he went sneeakin an' sniggerin till 
Tommy Thackra an" t' rist o' them. But Tommy 
an' t' rist o' them didn't snigger back ageean. They 
o' growl't at him, an' yan o' them said, "It's an aid 
turkey ! What for cudn't it hod t' aid tung on't till 
we'd gitten anudder gud day's weeage or two, an' 
plenty ut itt an' drink wi't, out o' t' clearin's o' t' 
bracken-beds? T'er's anew o' t'em left too ha' 
keep't us ga'n for a week !" 


( Extract from a Lecture on " The People of the English 
Lake Country, in their Humorous Aspect" 

|TILL harping upon married life, I wish to 
draw your attention to one of the finest 
passages in Wordsworth's greatest poem 
The Excursion, which abounds in fine passages. 
In that I refer to, the poet gives a very charming 
account of the daily life of a humble couple in 
Little Langdale, on whose hospitality he describes 
himself, or his hero, as being thrown, when benighted 
and lost in that narrow vale, where, as /have found 
occasionally, the closely encircling belt of high 
mountains makes a dark night very black indeed. 
The poet says 

"Dark on my road the autumnal evening fell, 
And night succeeded with unusual gloom, 
So that my feet and hands at length became 
Guides better than mine eyes until a light 
High in the gloom appeared, too high, methought, 
For human habitation." 

72 Betty Yewdate. 

Climbing the heights, however, he finds that the 
light proceeds from a lantern, held out by a woman 
to guide her husband homewards from the distant 
slate quarry. The poet proceeds to tell of his 
hospitable reception, the husband's arrival, and the 
unusual beauty of the goodman's face, adding 

' ' From a fount 

Lost, thought I, in the obscurities of time, 
Bui honoured once, those features and that mien 
May have descended, though I see them here. 
In such a man, so gentle and subdued, 
Withal so graceful in his gentleness, 
A race illustrious for heroic deeds, 
Humbled, but not degraded, may expire." 

Thus much for Jonathan Yewdale. His wife, 
Betty, is made to speak for herself but to speak 
in language very different from that she really used, 
as may be seen in a still more remarkable work 
than that I quote from The Doctor, namely, by 
Robert Southey, wherein Betty Yewdale, in her 
" oan mak' o' toke," relates " The true story of the 
terrible knitters of Dent." In The Excursion, how- 
ever, she is made to speak thus 

" 'Three dark mid-winter months 
Pass,' said the Matron, 'and I never see, 
Save when the sabbath brings its kind release, 
My helpmate's face by light of day. He quits 
His door in darkness, nor till dusk returns. 
And through Heaven's blessing, thus we gain the bread 
For which we pray ; and for the wants provide 
Of sickness, accident, and helpless age. 

Betty Yewdale. 73 

Companions have I many ; many friends, 
Dependants, comforters my wheel, my fire, 
All day the house-clock ticking in mine ear, 
The cackling hen, the tender chicken brood, 
And the wild birds that gather round my porch. 
This honest sheep-dog's countenance I read ; 
With him can talk ; nor seldom waste a word 
On creatures less intelligent and shrewd. 
And if the blustering wind that drives the clouds 
Care not for me, he lingers round my door, 
And makes me pastime when our tempers suit ; 
But, above all, my thoughts are my support. ' " 

This no doubt is, as I have said, a very charming 
picture of humble house life in a lonely home ; but 
the picture is drawn by a poet, and, in his words 
certainly not in those of the worthy dame from 
whose lips they are made thus melodiously to flow. 

I have conversed with many elderly people who 
knew this couple familiarly, and several have told 
me of the almost seraphic beauty of the old man's 
features, diluted, as it was, by a lack of expression, 
denoting a weakness of mind and character, whichj 
in the opinion of neighbours, perfectly justified 
Betty in maintaining full domestic supremacy and 
undisputed rule. 

Of the manner in which she sometimes asserted 
that supremacy, and brought her husband back to 
his allegiance, when, as was rare, he happened to 
stray from it, an amusing instance was told to me by 
a respectable widow, who for many years occupied 
the farm of Oxenfell, a lonely spot, amid the wild 

74 Betty Yewdale. 

craggy uplands on the Lancashire side of Little 
Langdale, and nearly opposite to Hackett, where 
the Yewdales resided. Were it only to show how 
differently great poets and ordinary people regard 
the same subject, this is worthy of preservation, 
and I give it, very nearly, in my informant's own 

" Ther' hed been a funeral fray aboot t' Ho'garth, 
an' varry nar o' t' men fooak about hed geean wi' 't 
till Cunniston. Nixt fooarneeun, Betty Yewdale 
com' through fray Hackett, an' says she till me, 
' Hes yower meeaster gitten back fray t' funeral?' 
'Nay,' says I, 'he hesn't !' 'An' irrn't ye gan ut lait 
him!' says Betty. 'Lait him!' says I, 'I wodn't 
lait him if he didn't cii heeam for a week.' ' Why, 
why !' says she, 'yee ma' due as ye like, but I mun 
bring mine heeam, an' I will!' An' off she set i' t' 
rooad till Cunniston. On i' t' efterneeun, she co' 
back, driving Jonathan afooer her wi' a lang hezle 
stick an' he sartly was a sairy object. His Sunda' 
cleeas leeuk't as if he'd been sleepin i' them on t' 
top of a durty fluer. T' tye of his neckcloth hed 
wurk't round till bela t' ya lug, an' t' lang ends on't 
hung ooer ahint his shou'der. His hat hed gitten 
bulged in at t' side, an' t' flipe on 't was cock't up 
beeath back an' frunt. O' togidder, it wod ha' been 
a queerly woman body 'at wod ha' teean a fancy 
till Jonathan that day. 

" Says I till Betty, 'What, ye hev fund him than ?' 

Betty Yewdale. 75 

'Fund him!' says she, 'ey, I' fund him! I kna't 
whar ut lait him ! I fund him at t' Black Bull, wi' 
yower meeaster, an' a lock meear o' t' seeam sooart. 
They wor just gan ut git the'r dinner, wi' a girt pan 
o' beef-steeaks set on t' middle o' t' teeable. I 
meead t' frying pan an' t' beef-steeaks flee gaily 
murrily oot o' t' duer, an' I set on an' geh them o' 
sike a blackin' as they willn't seeun forgit. Than I 
hail't Jonathan oot fray amang them ; bit when I'd 
gitten him out wi' me, I sham't ut be seen on t' 
rooads wi' him. Dud iver ye see sike a pictur' V 
'Why, nay! nit sa offen, indeed,' says I. 'Well,' 
says Betty, 'as I wodn't be seen i' t' rooads wi' him, 
we hed to teeak t' fields for't, an', as it wosn't seeaf 
ut let him climm t' wo's, I meead him creep t' 
hog-hooals.* I meead him creep t' hog-hooals,' 
says Betty, ' an' when I gat him wi' his heead in 
an' his legs out, I dud switch him.' " 

This true story shows Wordsworth's humble 
heroine in not quite so romantic a light as he 
throws round her in the passages I have quoted ; 
but I don't see that it need lower her in our 

* Hog-holes are small apertures left in the dry stone fences, 
to allow the sheep, 01 hog s, to get through from one pasture 
to another. 


A Reminiscence of Windermere. 


|REEN verged, glancing Wynander, first, 

fairest of our meres, 

How potent was the fairy charm, how 
perfect was the spell 
That bound me to its beauty once in youth's 

unlrammeU'd years 

And held me lingering, lingering at its Ferry's famed 

'Twas ere the railway whistle 'woke the echoes of 

the hills, 
And Arnold the vivacious perch'd as yet behind 

the mail, 

The Skulls of Calgarth. 77 

And that fine old English autocratic Boniface, Ben 

Ruled with a wholesome despotism the Ferry and 


And Benjamin's chief ferryman ' was stalwart old 

John Long, 
A veteran of the wrestling ring (its records hold his 

Who yet in life's late autumn was a wiry wight and 

Though grizzly were his elf-locks wild and bow'd his 

giant frame. 

Cool Michaelmas its summer brought, serene, and 

soft, and gray ; 
The high steep wood of Harrowslack all yellow 

grew and sere, 
And shower'd its faded raiment o'er the Ferry's 

gloom-girt bay 
The deepest, darkest, dreamiest nook of bay-fringed 


* Arnold and Bills, landlords of the Ferry at different 
periods the first named having been previously the well 
known guard of the coach that traversed the Lake district. 

78 The Skulls of Calgarth. 

And listlessly and idly as the lazy mists that rest, 
Or cling with loving closeness, after summer's heats 

are gone, 
And autumn's breezes over, to Wynander's placid 

The latest guest the Ferry held, I loitered there 


And there upon its calm-still'd wave, throughout 

the shortening day, 
And oft when daylight waned apace, and stars 

be-gemm'd the sky, 
By rocky nab or islet green, by slumb'ring pool or 

We glided through the peacefulness stark old John 

Long and I. 

Yes ; though John Long was worn and wan, he still 

was stark and strong, 
And he plied his bending "rooers" with a boatman's 

manly pride, 
As crashing past the islands, through the reed stalks 

crisp and long, 
He stretch'd away far northward, where the lake 

spread fair and wide. 

The Skulls of Calgarth. 79 

" Now rest upon your oars, John Long," one 
evening still said I, 

When shadows deepened o'er the mere from Latter- 
barrow Fell ; 

For far beyond broad Weatherlam the sun sank in 
the sky, 

And bright his levell'd radiance, lit the heights 
around Hillbell. 

"And tell me an old story," thus I further spoke, 

" John Long, 
Some mournful tale or legend, of the far departed 

The scene is all too solemn here for lightsome lay 

or song, 
So tell, and, in your plain strong words, I'll weave 

it into rhyme." 

Then old John Long revolved his quid, and gaunt 
he look'd and grim 

For darker still athwart the lake spread Latter- 
barrow's shade 

And pointing o'er the waters broad to fields and 
woodlands dim, 

He soberly and slowly spake, and this was what he 

8o The Skulls of Calgarth. 

"A house ligs la' an' leansome theear, doon in that 

oomer dark, 
Wi' wide, heigh-risin' chimla-heeads, la' roof, an' 

crum'lin' wo', 
O' wedder-gna'n an' weed-be-grown for time hes 

setten t' mark 
O' scooers an' scooers o' weearin' years on hantit 

Co'garth Ho'. 

"T' aid Philipsons o' Windermer' lang, lang hed 

theer the'r heeam ;<*> 
An' far an' wide the'r manors spread ooer forest, 

field, an' fell ; 
But now ther's nit i' t' cuntryside a steeatsman o' 

their neeam 
Ther's Philipsons, but o' work hard for breead like 

me mysel'. 

" For niver thinkin' they'd aneeuf, and strivin' still 

for meear, 
They wantit ivery scrap o' land the'r nebbers held 

aboot ; 
An' many a pooer man's grund they gat, by meeans 

nit ol'a's fair 
An' lang o' that grund-greed o' theirs, this teeal o' 

mine fell out. 

The Skulls of Calgarth. 8 1 

"An ald-ly man nar Burthet leev't, his neeam was 

Kraster Cook, 

An' whyetly his life hed ron wi' Dorot'y his deeam. 
A conny lile bit farm was theirs, a lown an' sunny 

An' t' hoose 'at's theear upon it still keeps up aid 

Kraster' neeam. 

" Myles Philipson wad offen toak wi' Kraster Cook 

an' t' wife, 
An' priss them hard the'r bit o' land ut swap wi' 

him or sell ; 
But beeath o' t'em at last spak' oot they'd rayder 

part wi' life 
Ner sell or swap a single yird of infield land or fell. 

"'Ye s' part wi' 't than,' said Philipson, as ran tin 

mad he rooar'd, 
' I'll hev that bit o' land o' yours, sud yee be 'live 

or deead.' 

An' Kraster fund 'at efter that as if ther was a sooard 
'At hed to fo' when t' time co' round, still hingin' 

ooer his heead. 


82 The Skulls of Calgarth. 

"Bit nowte com on't till t' Kersmas time, an' than 

till aid Co'garth 
They went wi' t' tudder nebbors, kindly ex't to t' 

Kersmas feeast ; 
An' t' best o' t' seeats at t' supper booard, an' 

warmest neeuk at t' hearth 
Wer' theirs, for t' squire hed ooerder't 'at they sud 

be that mitch greac't. 

"Bit seeun they fund that Kersmas treeat mud cost 

'em parlish dear, 

For Philipson pertendit 'at they'd stown a silver cup, 
An' Cook's house was ratch't through an' through, 

an' t' silver cup fund theear, 
Heead theear, girt like, o' purpose an' t' aid cupple 

wer' teean up. 

"An" for the'r lives they triet 'em beeath, an' beeath 

condemn't to dee. 
Myles Philipson was theear, an' Dolly glooer't him 

hard i' t' feeace, 
As meear ner plowmb she rais't hersel', an', ten-able 

ut see, 
She spak' thir wurds i' seccan a skrike as rung 

through t' justice pleeace : 

The Skulls of Calgarth. 83 

" 'Ey, gud thysel', Myles Philipson thou thinks 

th'u's mannish't grand ; 
Thou thinks th'u's hooal't our lile bit grund, and 

gitten't o' for nowte, 
Bit, harks t'e here, Myles Philipson that teenie 

lump o' land 
Is t' dearest grund a Philipson hes ayder stown or 

bowte ; 

" 'For yee sail prosper niver meear, yersel', nor yan 

o' t' breed ; 
Whativer schemes yee set a geeat 'ill widder i' yer 

Whativer side yee tak' 'ill Iwose ; an', spite of o' yer 

A time 'ill come when t' Philipsons wi' n't awn an 

inch o' land. 

"An', while Co'garth's strang wo's sail stand, we'll 

ha'nt it neet an' day, 

Ye s' niver mair git shot on us, whativer way ye tak'; 
Whativer plan or geeat ye try, ut banish us away, 
Ye'll hardly kna' we irr away afooer ye see us back. 

84 The Skulls of Calgarth. 

"An 1 suer aneeuf, neist Kersmas, when they'd nit 

been twelvemonth deead, 
(They'd buriet t' pooer aid fooak wi' lime, whar the' 

wor putten doon,) 
Two skulls steead in a hooel i' t' wo', aside o' t' 

wide stair heead, 
At aid Co'garth, an' theear they gurn't, a warnin' 

fray aboon. 

"An', ivery mak' o' pains they teeuk ut git 'em 

druven away 
They buriet them, they born't them weel, they 

bray't them till they brak', 
They sunk 'em full't wi' leed i' t' lake, they pash't 

'em deep i' clay, 
But just as Dolly said they wod, they still co' gurnin' 


"An' theear they've gurn't an' gurn't ageean, for 

many a hundert year, 
An' scooars o' fooak ha' seen 'em theear it's neea 

lees I tell 
Till t' Bishop( 2 > wo't 'em up i' t' hooal, bit still 

they're gurnin' theear, 
For just afooar he wo't 'em up, I seed them theear 


The Skulls of Calgarth. 85 

"An" t' Philipsons went doon an' doon, the'r 

schemin' o' went wrang, 
Though offen for a sinkin' coase they meead a 

gallant stand ; 
Fray t' steeat rowls about Windermer' the'r neeam 

hes vanish't lang, 
/divn't kna' a Philipson 'at hods an inch o' land." 


1. In a foot-note to West's Guide to the Lakes, published 
first about 1770 its 5th edition being dated 1793 the author 
or editor suggests certain other modes of accounting for the 
presence of the famous skulls of Calgarth, but fails in offering 
anything so satisfactory as the popular version here done 
into rhyme. The writer of the note appears to have seen 
them himself, and I have known more than one old person, , 
besides John Long, who averred that in their youth, they had 
seen the said remains occupying their immemorial position. 
The misfortunes of the Philipsons of Calgarth and Crook are 
matter of local history, and with some o their recorded 
exploits, make them, perhaps, the most interesting family of 
the two counties. 

2. Dr. Watson, the celebrated Bishop of Llandaff, who 
acquired the estate of Calgarth, and long resided upon it, but 
not at the old Hall. He is always spoken of by the old 
people who remember him as " 7" Bishop." 




Map'ment Martha map'ment ! 

Thow kna'sn't what thow says 
An' thow fair torments my heart owt 

Wi' thy lile contrairy ways 
It's oa' a heeap o' map'ment 

Ut say 'at this or that 
Sud meeak us put it off ageean 

Thow toaks thow kna'sn't what ! 

We irrn't rich, an' mayn't be ; 

What than !- wi' time an' keear, 
An' pu'in' weel togidder, 

We may meeak our little meear. 
We s' niver, I's insuer us, 

Be neeak't or clemm'd or cald, 
But spar' a ho'penny or two 

Ut cheer us when we're aid. 

Map'ment. 87 

Let's feeace it, Martha, feeace it, 

Whativer cums behint ! 
God niver sends a mowth wi'owt 

A sum'at ut put in't. 
We s', happen, hev a mowth or two 

Ut feed besides owr a'n, 
What matter they s' be welcome o' 

Ut share whativer's ga'n ! 

We s' ol'a's hing togidder weel, 

An' beeath du what we can 
A borden 's leeter shared by two, 

Nor when it's borne by yan. 
But if we's plagued wi' trubble, 

(An' wha's fray trubble free ?) 
I' s' try ut lig thy share tull mine, 

An' kep it oa' fray thee. 

An' if we's pooer, we s' sham' nin, 

For rich fooak's no'but fooak ; 
An' wha can tell, we s' happen dra 

Sum' prize fray fortun's pooak. 
But wrowte-for punds ga's farder far 

Nor hundreds 's gi'en or fund ; 
An' sum' may be to t' fooer for t' barnes 

When we ga under t' grund. 

88 Map'ment. 

Cum let's hev nea meear map'ment, 

But gradely feeace owr chance ; 
I 's off ut put owr exin's in, 

An' git it deeun at yance. 
Cum ! gi' 's a kiss o' t' heead on 't, 

An' meeak na meear ut du ; 
My hand 's here, wi' my heart in 't, 

Tak' them beeath thou s' niver rue ! 


A Reminiscence of Langdale. 

JCCOMPANIED by the holder of a small 
farm in the dales, I was once riding up 
Yewdale sometime beyond the middle of 
a winter night. The fields on our right and the 
slopes and ledges of the screes and fells to the left 
and in front were shrouded in a vestment of frozen 
snow, which glared under the starlight with a 
brilliancy of reflection that rendered the absence of 
the moon unnoticed and uncared for. But the 
scattered groves and coppices to the eastern side, 
and the perpendicular craggs elsewhere, on neither 
of which the snow could rest as it fell, stood out 
black and dismal blotches sable on a field argent 
(queer heraldry this, but so suggested) with an 
intensity of gloom, a weird dreariness of aspectj 
which may hardly be realized by those who have 

9O Oxenfell Dobby. 

looked upon Yewdale only when arrayed in the 
light verdure of spring, the matured leanness of 
summer, or the marvellous variegation of autumn, 
under any one of which conditions that fair vale 
may fairly claim pre-eminence in beauty over all 
other minor dales of the Lake country. 

On the occasion I tell of, the solemn desolation 
of the scenery, and the oppressive silence, broken 
only by the quick tramp of our ponies' feet on the 
crisp snow, combined to discourage all thought of 
conversation or remark ; and we traversed the 
whole length of the vale without the interchange 
of sentence or word. When, however, we had 
reached the point where the road to Tilberthwaite 
and Langdale Head diverges from that to Skelwith, 
and I was about to follow the latter, my companion 
laid his hand upon my rein,' and said, in a rather 
peremptory tone, " We s' teeak t' tudder rooad, if 
yee pleease ;" and on my objecting to quit the 
smoother and shorter road for the longer and 
rougher, he persisted " It may bee as yee say, 
beeath t' better an' t' bainer, bit nowte wad hire 
me to teeak t' rooad ooer Oxenfell at this hour o' 
t' neet, an' that's o' about it." "But why 1 ?" I 
remonstrated, disinclined to yield in a matter of 
such importance to reasoning like this. "Is' tell 
yee why," he replied, " when we's seeaf at my awn 
fireside, if ye sud ha'e time ut lissen." " Is it a 
story?" I asked with some interest. "It's nowte 

Oxenfell Dobby. 9 1 

mitch of a stooary," said he, "bit what ther's on't 's 
true, an' that's meear ner can be said for many a 
better stooary. Bit cum on, an' ye s' happen hear." 
I resisted no longer, and we pursued our journey 
through Tilberthwaite, where the piebald dreariness 
of the scenery was even more marked and more 
depressing than in Yewdale. We reached our 
destination without disaster, but not without danger. 
The broad, deep ford in the stream, which there 
divides the two counties, and which we had to 
cross, was edged on either bank by a high, abrupt 
shelf of strong ice, very dangerous to slidder off, 
and very difficult to scramble upon. Indeed, my 
fellow traveller, with his rough, clumsy little steed, 
more accustomed to the stangs of muck-cart or peat 
sledge than to saddle work, had a roll on the farther 
side luckily rolling towards the land, and not into 
the water. But my sagacious old "Targus," who, 
as I was wont in those days to boast, could carry 
me over any ground on which a mountain goat or 
a Herdwick sheep could find a foot-hold, after 
testing the strength of each slippery ledge by a 
heavy paw or two, traversed the dangerous passage 
with the same steadiness with which I had known 
him pace over others where a slip or a stumble 
would have had much more serious results. 

Seated comfortably at the grateless peat fire of 
my travelling companion, now my host, and assured 
of the probability of leisure to hear his story out, I 

9 2 Oxenfell Dobby. 

reminded him of the condition under which he had 
induced me to take the longer and less practicable 
way to his fell-girt house ; and after some coy 
deprecation, which sat awkwardly enough upon his 
homely features and dale nurtured manner, he 

"Just about ten year syne, of just sic anudder 
neet as t'is, only t' sna' wasn't frozzen, I was out 
efter t' yars." "Poaching?" I interpolated. "Co't 
as ye like," said he, in a tone of indifference. " I 
was out efter t' yars. I'd gitten a yar or two ooer 
about Holme grund way, an' I was meeakin' heeam 
alang t' rooad atvveen Hodge Clooas an' Oxenfell 
Cross, when I thowte I was ga'n ut meet sum 
fellows I cud heear toakin', bit cudn't see. Ye 
kna', t' rooad's o' heets an' hooals theear about, an', 
for that reeason, I dudn't think mitch o' nit seein' 
'em; bit whoaiver they med be, I dudn't want 
them ut see me. Sooa I gat ooer t' steean fence 
wi 1 t' gun an' t' yars, an' croodel't doon aback on't 
ut let 'em git whyetly by. Well, they com on, an', 
as I cud hear, they wor fratchin cruelly o' t' way as 
t'ey com. Ther' was two on 'em, plain aneeuf, for 
sum'times yan spak', an' sum'times anudder, an', 
gaily oft, they beeath spak' at yance. As they co' 
narder till whar I was hidin', t' fratch gat feurcer 
an' louder ner iver, an' they shoutit, t' yan ooer t' 
tudder, whedder ut shout t' harder; bit for o' that, 
I cudn't meeak out a wurd 'at they said. When 

Oxenfell Dobby. 93 

they gat ebben fornenst me, yan o' them let out a 
meeast terrable skrike, an' I lowpt back ooer t' wo' 
ut seeav life. Ther 1 was ne&body theear 7 They 
wor rooarin' an' screeamin' wi'in six yirds o' me, as 
I streetent mysel' up ut lowp t' wo', an' when I gat 
to me feet o' t' tudder side ther' was nowte ! An' 
meear ner that, ther' wasn't a feeut-mark i' t' sna' 
bit my awn, an' they co' t' tudder way. How I gat 
heeam \vi' my gun an' my yars I kna'n't, an' I niver 
mun kna' bit when I wacken't i' t' mooernin' 
theear was t' gun an' yars atop o' t' teeable, an' 
theear was I i' my bed. 

"An' now I've telt ye t' reeason 'at I wodn't cu' 
heeam by Oxenfell Cross. I niver hev been, 'cept 
i' dayleet, on t' rooad whar them fellows woaks, an' 
I niver will, sa lang as I can git anudder 'at's less 
nor a scooer o' miles about." 

"Then is that road said to be haunted?" I 
enquired. "Said to be ha'ntit !" he exclaimed, in 
a tone of wonder and contempt. " Whar ha'e yee 
been o' yer life, if ye hevn't hard o' Oxenfell 
Dobby 1 " " Has it been seen by any one besides 
you?" "Ey," replied he, "by hunderts o'.fooak! 
Why, bless yd ! aid Ben Grave gat seckan a torn as 
he was cumin' heeam yance leeat frae Haks'ed fair, 
'at he dud na meear gud. He niver wod tell what 
it was, bit ivery body was suer 'at it was flayin' o' 
sum mak', an 'a varry sairious mak' tu, for, as I 
said, aid Ben niver dud no meear gud efter that 
neet bit dwinet away an' deet." 

94 Oxenfell Dobby. 

" Is it known," I asked, " how the place came to 
be haunted ?" " Why ! It is partly. It's kna'n 
an' it isn't kna'n as a body may say bit I can tell 
ye o' 'at's kna'n about it, if y6 like ut hear." "Tell 
away then," said I, "I like to hear." "Well! " he 
again began, "Ya Kersmas, afooer I can mind, 
ther' was a hake aboot Clappersgeeat, an' ther' was 
a stranger at it 'at varry few kna't owte about bit 
it seeun gat out 'at he was a new Scotch gardener 
'at hed just cum't tull Rydal Ho'. As t' neet went 
ooer fooak nooatisht 'at he was girtly teean up wi' 
lile Betty Briggs a lively, rooesy-cheek't bit of a 
winch 'at com' frae Tilberthet. Betty hed an aid 
sweetheart theear 'at they co't Jack Slipe ; bit she 
was sa pleeas't wi' t' new an' 'at she wodn't hev 
owte ut say tull Jack. It was plain aneeuf tull o' 
theear 'at he dudn't hoaf like't ; an' when t' Scotch- 
man kiss't Betty i' t' cushion dance, t' fooak aside 
o' Jack cud hear his teeth crack as he grand 'em 

"When t' dance brak' up t' gardener wod see 
Betty heeam, an' as Betty hed nowte ut say ageean 
it, they set off togidder up t' rooad alang t' Brathay 
an' Jack Slipe follow't by his-sel' a gay bit behint 

" T' Scotch gardener niver co' back tull Rydal 
Ho'. He was niver seen ageean wi' neabody. He 
partit wi' Betty at her fadder duer i' Tilberthet 
she said an' that was t' last on^him ! " "And was 

Oxenfell Dobby. 95 

nothing ever heard of him ] " I enquired. " Why ! 
nowte 'at was owte. Theear was a hoaf silly lass 
about Chapel-Steel 'at said she'd hed t' Scotchman' 
heead iy her brat ya meeunleet neet bit when she 
was teean up an' quees't about it, they cud meeak 
nowte out on her, an' they let her lowce. It was 
said 'at Jooahn Turner, 'at hed t' Oxenfell farm 
afooar Grave fooak, fund t' beeans ^of a Christian 
yance when he was cuttin' a drain iv his pastur', bit 
it was niver leuk't intull, an' Jooahn said lile about 

"And what about Jack Slipe?" "Well ! queerly 
aneeuf, he weddit t' lass 'at dud o' t' mischief, an' 
dee't afooar he was an aid man, leeavin' Betty wi' a 
yung family. He was niver kna'n ut smile or teeak 
part iv any spooart. He ol'a's hed a wild scar'tly 
leeuk : as he woak't alang a rooad he keept glimin' 
furst ooer t' ya shou'der an' than ooer t' tudder, an' 
he niver durst bide by his-sel' efter t' darkenin'. He 
leev't sarvant for a while wi' aid Jooasep Tyson of 
Yakrow, an' wheniver aid Joo'ep seed any o' them 
signs of a bad conscience, he wod say, ' Cum ! 
Dyne the', Jack, thou med as gud confess. Thou 
kna's thou dud it ! ' Bit whedder Jack dud it or 
nit neabody can tell for suer. An' that's t' way it 
mun rist ! " 


|ULL ye meet me, Meenie Bell ? Wull ye 

tryste yince mair wi' me 1 
Where the sauchs half hide the burnie as 
it wimples on its way 4 
When the sinking sun comes glentin' through the 

feathery birken tree, 

Till ye'd trow a thousand fairy fires wer' flichterin' 
on the brae. 

Wull ye meet me, Meenie Bell ? Wull ye say ye'll 

meet me there ? 
An' come afore the gloamin' fa's to hear what I've 

to tell ? 
For I'm gaun away the morn, an' I'll weary lang 

an' sair 
'Or I see ye're bonnie face again sae meet me, 

Meenie Bell ! 

Meenie Bell. 97 

I'll be far away frae Middlebie for monie an' monie 

a day; 
An' I want ae curl o' gowden hair to treasure 

I've a keepsake braw for you, an' I've something 

mair to say 
Aye ! a hantle mair to tell ye than I've ever tellt 


Thus I fleech't wee Meenie Bell till her heart grew 

soft an' kin' 
An' she met me near the burnie as the simmer 

gloamin' fell ; 

We pairtit or 'twas day, an' o' a' the nichts I min' 
The brichtest in my mem'ry is that nicht wi' Meenie 


I thocht her heart was troth-fast, but my image 

faded oot, 
An' a stranger took the place in't that she said she'd 

keep for me ; 
For time gaed creeping on, an' her hopes changed 

into doobt, 
An' doobt to caul' mistrustm', while I toilt ayont 

the sea. 

98 Meenie Bell. 

I've warselt wi' the worl' weel I've run a wunnin' 

But, aih ! I'm of en wushin' when I maunder by 

An' a' my weary strivin's through lang lanesome 

years I trace, 
I had bidden puir i' Middlebie and mairiet Meenie 





Ye've aiblins heard o' Wullye Smyth, 

Ane hosteler wychte was he ; 
Quha wonn't at the sygne o' the bonnie Black Bull, 

I' the toon o' Lockerbye. 

For Wullye, he drawyt the best o' wyne, 
An' brewyt the best o' yelle, 

An' mixyt the best o' brandye punch, 
As neebour Lairds coulde telle. 

For aft the neebour Lairds conveent 
At Wullye's to drynke theyre wyne, 

An' hech ! quhan they yokyt the brandye punch, 
They raysyt ane unco schyne. 

TOO "A Locker bye Lycke" 

An- ance, on the nychte o' a huntan' tryste, 

A blythesome companye 
There lychtyt doon i' the Black Bull closse, 

Wychte Wullye's wyne to pree. 

An' there war Johnstones an' Jardines routh 

Amang that rattlan' crewe, 
Wi' Herbert Herryes o' fayre Ha' Dykes/ 2 ) 

An' his buirdlye byllye Hughe ; 

An' gallaunte Wullye o' Becks was there, 

Wi' Wullye o' Kyrtletoone :* 
Sae they byrl't awaye at the reid, reid wyne, 

As the toasts gaed roun' an' roun'. 

Whyle up an' spak wylde Wullye o' Becks, 
An' theyre fusionless toasts he curst, 

*' We'll toom a glasse tylle ilk man's lasse, 
An' Ha' Dykes maun name his first ! " 

Than up gatte the Laird o' bonnie Ha' Dykes 
" Weel ! rayther nor marre fayre myrthe, 

Here's wynsome Jean o' the Wylye Hole, 
The flower o' Tundergayrthe ; 

* Friends of the author introduced anachronically, as also is 
Wullie Smyth, who flourished at Lockerbie during the 
author's "school-day time." 

"AL oc her bye Lycke. " i o i 

"An* he quha wunna drynke fayre to thatte 

Maun quytte thysse companye ; 
An' he quha lychtlyes thatte sweet lasse, 

Maun answer it weel tylle me." 

Then up spak' Wullye o' Kyrtletoone, 

(A sleekye deevil I trowe,) 
"Folke say, up the Water o' Mylke, that she lykes 

Ye're byllye farre better nor yowe ! " 

The reid marke brunt on the Herryes his bree, 

An' wow but he lookyt grymme : 
"Can ye thynke that the flower o' the Mylke suld 

For a beggarlye loon lyke hymme 1 

"Can ye thynke that ane haughtye dame lyke her 

Coulde looke wi' a kyndlye e'e 
On ane quha for everye placke that he spens, 

Or wastes, maun sorn on me ?" 

"An' div ye thynke," cryet the wrathfu' Hughe, 

"It's noo my turne to speer 
That ever a leal heartyt lassie could lo'e 

A sumph for the sake o' his gear? 

iO2 "A Locker bye Lycke" 

"An' divye thynke" mayre scornfu' wordes 

Younge Hughe essayet to speake, 
But his blither's rychte han' rase high in wrathe, 

An' fell on his lowan' cheeke. 

Than doon at that wanbritherly strayke 

Dyd Hughe the Herryes fa', 
An' for to redde this fearsome fraye, 

Uppe lappe the gentles a' : 

An' auld Wullye Smyth cam toytlan' benne 

"Quhat's wrang amang ye noo 1 ? 
It's a wonnerfu' thynge that 'sponsible menne 

Maun fechte or they weel be fou." 

Fu' slawlye did Hughe Herryes ryse, 

An' the never a worde he sayde, 
But he gloom't an' he tore his gluve wi ; his teeth, 

As furthe frae the room he gaed. 

He muntyt his gude grey meare i' the closse, 

An' he gallopyt aff lyke wudde. 
"Eh, sirs !" quo' auld Wullye Smyth, " Eh, sirs ! 

This never maun come tille gude ; 
For quhan ever a Herryes he chows his gluve, 

It's ane earnest o' deidlye feud !" 

"A Locker bye Lycke." 103 

That myrthsome band they tynte theyre myrthe, 

The gude wyne tynte its power, 
An' like man glower't at his neebour's face 

Wi' a glum an' eerye glower. 

The Herryes he lootyt his heid to the board, 

I' sorrowe but an' shame ; 
The lawin' was ca't ilk took tille his horse, 

An' sochte his ain gate hame. 

Kynde Wullye o' Becks sayde lowne tille his frien', 
We maun ryde Ha' Dykes his way ; 

But the Herryes owreheard, an' shook his heid, 
An' doolfu' did he saye 

"Alane ! alane ! I maun dree my weirdie 
For the deede this nychte saw dune ; 

But O that the palsye had wuther't my han', 
Or it strooke my fayther's sonne !" 

Atweest Ha' Dykes an' the Water o' Mylke 
Rosebanke lies half-waye doone, 

An' Chayrlye Herryes laye there that nychte, 
An' he was sleepyn' soune. 

IO4 "A Locker bye Lycke." 

Quhyle he was rousyt i' the howe o' the nychte 
Wi' a dynne at his wundow board, 

For his youngest bryther was dunneran there 
Wi' the hylte o' a sheenless sworde. 

Sayan', "Chayrlye, I've mayde ye a Laird the nychte, 

An' I roaunna be here the morne, 
My blade is barken't wi' Herbert's blude, 

An' he lyes at Hurkelle Burne." 

He muntyt his meare i' the fayre muinlychte, 
An' he pryckyt out owre the greene, 

But never agayne in Annan dale 
Was blythe Hughe Herryes scene. 

Na ! never agayne i' Dry's'al' Kyrke, 

Norre ever atte Lockerbye fayre, 
The lasses quha lo'ed the blynke o' his e'e, 

Saw that blythe e'e-blynke mayre. 

There was some folke sayde that his wynsome corse 

I' the fathomless sea was sunke ; 
Some sayde. he was slayne i' the German wars 

An' some that he deet a monke. 

"A Locker bye Lycke." 105 

Quhanne Chayrlye Herryes had ca't his menne, 

F dool but an' i' frychte ; 
He boun't him awaye to Hurkelle Burne, 

An' saw ane awfu' sychte. 

For there the chief o' his aunciente house 

F waesome plychte did lye, 
Wi' his heid on the banke, his feet i' the burne, 

An' his face to the sternye skye. 

Ane hastye batte wrochte unco chaynge ; 

Younge Chayrlye noo was Lairde, 
An' Herbert layde i' the Herryeses aysle, 

I' Dry's'al' auld Kirk-yayrde. 

But fearfu' sychtes hae beene scene sinsyne, 
An' monye a late-gaune wychte 

Quhan stayveran' hame by Hurkelle Burne, 
Hes gotten a lyfe-lang frychte. 

A voice ilke year as that nychte comes roun', 

Yells a' the plantyns throo 
" There never was Herryes that dreet a strayke, 

But he garr't the smyter rue.' 1 

io6 "A Locker bye Lycke." 

An' what has been seen I downa telle, 

But this I ken fu' weel 
That rayther nor cross that burne at e'en, 

There's monye wad face the deil. 

An' ance quhan I was a smayke at the schule, 

I was late on Lockerbye Hylle, 
An' sure o' a flyte quhan I ance wan hame, 

I gaed wi' lyttle gude wylle ; 

But thynkinge on monye a fayre excuse, 

Juste aung-er awaye to turne, 
I'd got a rychte feasible storye framyt, 

As I loupit owre Hurkelle Burne. 

Quhan somethynge rase wi' ane eldrytche skrayche, 

An' a deevylyshe dynne it mayde, 
As doon the burn whyrre ! whyrre ! whyroo ! 

Lyke a flaughte o' fyre it gaede. 

My hayre lyftit up my cap frae my heide, 

Cauld sweite ran owre my bree, 
The strengthe was reft frae my trummelan' lymbs, 

An' I cower't upo' my knee. 
'Twas ane horryble thochte to forgayther wi' ghaysts, 

Quhan I'd just been coynan' a lee. 

"A Locker bye Lycke" 107 

But awaye belyve like a troute frae a gedde, 

Or a maukyn frae yammeran' tykes, 
I fledde nor styntyt to breathe or looke backe, 

Quhyle I wan to the bonnie Ha' Dykes. 

My tale was tauld. They leuche, an' quo' they, 

"A frychtyt pheasaunte spryngs 
Wi' a skraich an' a whyrre ;" but I threepyt them 

That I kenn't it was nae sic thyngs, 
For quhatte could pit me i' sic mortal dreide 

That flees upo' mortal wyngs ? 

The gyrse growes greene about bonnie Ha' Dykes, 

On meadowe, brae an' lea ; 
The corn waves wyde on its weel wrochte rygges, 

An' its wuddes are fayre to see. 

Its auld Ha' house 'mang the chestnut trees 

In statelye beautye Stan's ; 
But I wadna gaen backe by the burne that nychte 

For Ha' Dykes an' a' its lan's. 

io8 "A Lockerbye Lycke" 


1. This phrase is generally applied to a heavy back-handed 
blow. It is said to have originated at the battle of Dryfe- 
sands, which was fought near to Lockerbie in 1593, between 
the Nithsdale and the Annandale clans, the former being 
defeated with terrible slaughter. It was found after the battle 
that many of the slain had been killed by a slashing sword cut 
across the face, from a blow peculiar to the Johnstones, and 
hence called the "Lockerbye lycke. " 

2. Halldykes, in the parish of Dryfesdale, Dumfriesshire, 
where the writer passed some years of his boyhood, was 
formerly the seat of a branch of the Herries family ; and, 
with three or four adjacent farms, formed almost the last 
remnant of their large border estates held by the descendants 
of that anciently powerful and noble house ; one member of 
which is immortalized as the builder of the Tower of Repent- 
ance, and another as Queen Mary's " loyal and brave Lord 
Herries !" Sir Robert Herries, founder of the great London 
banking house of Herries, Farquhar, and Co., and the Right 
Hon. J. C. Herries, once Chancellor of the Exchequer, were 
both scions of the old stock of Halldykes. Like most old 
family seats in the same district, Halldykes possesses, nu- 
merically speaking, a highly respectable corps of bogles (as 
the writer knew to his great and frequent tribulation) ; the 
origin and mode of developement of one of the most prominent 
of which is related pretty faithfully, according to local tradi- 
tion, in the preceding rhyme. 


Being shown, at Lockerbie, a printed programme of after- 
dinner proceedings at the celebration there of Mr. R. Jardine's 
marriage, the writer noticed in the list the sentence that heads 
this page, and enquired if it were a toast or a song. When 
told it was the former, he said it deserved to be a song ; and, 
acting on his own hint, crooned out the following verses on 
his homeward journey by rail. 

The farmers' wives o' Annandale ! 

Gude baud them bein an' braw; 
Ilk rules within her foothy hame, 

Like leddy in her ha'. 
Ilk yearns to guide her ain gudeman 

Wi' love that downa fail ; 
They irr the wale o' woman-kind 

The wives o' Annandale ! 

The farmers' wives o' Annandale ! 

I've kent their gates fu' lang ; 
They're worthy weel the wine cup's grace 

Weel worthy o' a sang. 

1 10 Farmers Wives d Annandale. 

But ne'er to tell their worth aricht, 
May toast or sang avail ; 

They far transcend a' rhymin' skill 
The wives o' Annandale ! 

The farmers' wives o' Annandale 

Shew fine at kirk an' fair,'; 
But see them at their ain firesides 

They shine the brichtest there. 
Wi' gracious smiles an' winsome words 

The stranger guest they hail ; 
They're angels in a hamely sphere 

The wives o' Annandale ! 

The farmers' wives o' Annandale ! 

They strive frae morn till nicht, 
Without, within, through but an' ben, 

To haud a' rowin' richt ; 
To keep contentit their gudemen, 

Their bairnies feal an' hale, 
Till baith rise up an' ca' them blest 

The wives o' Annandale. 

The chiel' that hes in Annandale 
A weel-waled farm an' wife, 

Has drawn twae glorious prizes frae 
The lucky-bag o' life. 

Farmers Wives o A nnandale. 1 1 1 

An' may they prosper, stock an' store, 

In ever hichtinin' scale, 
Whae treasure in their hames an' hearts 

The wives o' Annandale. 

v - 

I 1 2 


Of a' the streams o' Annandale 

Wi' names embalm't i' sang or story, 

Gin Mylke for beauty, beer the bell, 
1 think I'd gi'e the mell to Corrie. 

It's "up Corrie doon Dryfe," 

(Gin a coortin' ye wad toddle) 
"That's the gate to seek a wife " 

(Hoo daft aul' rhymes bide in yin's noddle !) 

But sud ye take ye're way by Corrie, 
Till ye come gey near to Borelan', 

Ye'll aye see muir an' bent afore ye 

Scarce ochte a' roon' but bent an' muirlan'. 

" There's Corrie Lea an' Corrie Law 
Corrie Mains an' movvdies hork" there 

"Come Hill an' Corrie Ha' 

Corrie Common, Corrie Kirk" there. 

A Reminiscence of Corrie. 1 1 3 

But Corrie Kirk's nae kirk ava 
Corrie Hill's nae hill to roam on 

SnelPs the blast on Corrie Law 
Scant the gerse on Corrie Common. 

They tell me Corrie's alter't now ; 

It's drain't, they say, an' fenced an' plantit ; 
But as I min' 't, lang syne, I trow, 

Drain, fence, an' biel war sairly wantit. 

Than what is't gars me ply my pen 
I' scribblin' doon this rhymin' clatter 1 

An' what is't mak's me aye sae fain 
To hear or read o' Corrie Water? 

Atweel it is a simple thing 

As ever dreamer wastit time on ; 

Scarce worth the while to say or sing 
For this is what I'm boun' to rhyme on 

The mem'ry o' a denty quean, 

I couldna draw a plain-spak' word frae ; 
Scarce heard ava no fairly seen 

An' never efter seen or heard frae. 

H4 A Reminiscence of Corrie. 

A' day we'd stey't at Corrie Common, 
Drinkin', thrawin' quoits, an' jeerin' ; 

An' doon to Stidriggs, or the gloamin', 
Five wil' chiel's we gaed careerin'. 

(Jock' Porteous, An'ro Hen'erson, 
Wull Fergyson, me, Wullie Beaty. 

Twae, like mysel', may yet leeve on 
The ither twae Aih me, the pity !) 

Butlpassin' by a wee cot-house, 

Wi' riggin'irlaigh, an' gable suety, 
Yin cries oot sae bauF an' croose, 

"Come, boys, c' way in, an' licht the cutty !" 

I'd maist ill tricks a lad can ha'e 
An' some I hadna neebors spak <?' 

But naither frien' nor foe could say 
I ever cared to blaw tobacco. 

An' in they gaed ; but I stood there 
Before the door, a tentless sentry, 

Till startled by a vision fair 

Gaun jookin' ben across the entry. 

A Reminiscence of Carrie. 1 1 5 

Elate blate an' backwarts aye I've been, 

An' niver forrat-ways nor saucy. 
But where's the guff at bricht nineteen 

'At wadna chace a fleein' lassie ? 

Sae ben I slinkit hat i' han' r 

An' there, beside the wee bit wunnock, 

I saw a peerless maiden stan', 
Just pantin' like a hare i' panic. 

Wi' shapely form i' braw black silk 

Lang curls as black's the silk, an' blacker- 

A changefu' cheek a throat like milk : 
An' lown an' pawkily I spak' her. 

I pled for my companions rouch 
I trow't they couldna mean to fley her 

But only heard her breath's quick souch, 
For fient a word could I get frae her. 

I howp't she didna think me rude 

Civility I weel intendit ; 
An', quit I naither wad nor could, 

But pardon gin T had offendit. 

1 1 6 A Reminiscence of Corrie. 

I ventur't yince to speir her name 
I ofifen askit where she cam' frae 

(That hoosie boodna' be her hame) 

An' thochte I heard ae word like Wamphray. 

But plague licht on thae rantin' chiel's, 
'At couldna let yin coort i' quayet, 

But keepit cryin' bletherin' de'ils ! 
"Hoy ! This is no the bit to stey at ; 

Co' way to Stidriggs ! " sae I gaed, 
But first the lassie low I herkit, 

" I'll come again 1" was what I said 
An' nae denial I remerkit. 

We wan to Stidriggs Bent but haith ! 

Our bent was Stidriggs' tea an' toddy ; 
An' he that wadna roose them baith, 

Maun be a puir wanwauchtie body. 

To Whitcastles I should ha'e gaen, 

But weet ! I've seldom seen the like o' 't- 

An' An'ro swore i' siccan a rain 
He wadna turn a gangrel's tyke out. 

A Reminiscence of Corrie. 117 

Twae close box-beds, to five big chiel's, 

Presentit scrimp accommodation ; 
But, "heids an' thraws, or necks an' heels," 

They'd haud by An'ro's invitation. 

As they begood to think o' bed, 

An opportunity I grippit, 
Borrow't, no askin', some ane's plaid, 

An' furth into the rain I slippit. 

An' though the gate I hardly kent, 
I' trustfu' love's instinct confidin', 

I, darklin', stayvelt owre the bent, 
An' fan' the cot, but ither guidin'. 

An' nearin' that wee hoose at last, 
O' monie a fletherin' wordie thinkin', 

I saw, what gar't my heart beat fast, 
A licht frae oot its window blinkin'. 

I keekit through, but nochte could see ; 

A claith was there, half drawn, half drappit ; 
But sure the licht was meen't for me ; 

Upon the glass I lichtly chappit. 

1 1 8 A Reminiscence of Corrie. 

An* seun I heard the openin' door ; 

An' through its chink I saftly glidit ; 
But turnin' on the lichted floor, 

I saw I'd been sair, sair misguidit 

I saw what gar't my heart stan' still, 
An' set my verra flesh a' creepin', 

While doon my limbs the svveit draps chill, 
Like thowin' snaw gaed dreepin', dreepin'. 

I" place o' braw black silken goon 
A bed-goon an' a drogget coatie ; 

I' place o' ringlets clusterin' doon 
A reekit mutch an' chaft-locks tawtie ; 

1' place o' salt lid-droopin' e'en 
Ae wulcat spark a winkin' won'er ; 

I' place o' lips wi' bliss atween 
Twae gums wad gar a corby scunner 

I' place o' broo an' throat o' sna' 

An' bosom fraucht wi' sweet emotion 

A face an' figur' 'passin' a' 

The gruesomeness o' earth or ocean. 

A Reminiscence of Corrie. 1 1 9 

An' sic a tongue Gude guide a' weel ! 
She lows't on me sic fearfu' flytin' ! 

I' sic a voice half craik, half squeel 
VVi' jeers an' jibes braid, bitter bitin'. 

"To gie yin fash," Rob Burns declared, 

"An aul' wife's tongue's a feckless matter/' 

But honest Robin never heard 

That aul' wife's tongue i' Corrie water. 

An' whan she made a calmer souch, 
An' stey't a wee her skirlin' ang-er, 

I heard, far ben, a sweet wee lauch, 
An' dowdna thole the ordeal lang-er. 

I Hang the carlin fierce aside, 
An' left her up hersel' to gether ; 

An', frae her cot, wi' wrathfu' stride, 
I fled to face the midnicht w'ather. 

An' back 1 took my darksome way, 

By gerse grown-dykes an' resh-rouch heid rigs ; 
By spretty knowe an' staney brae, 

An', sair forfowch'en, wan to Stidriggs, 

1 20 A Reminiscence of Corrie. 

Where, hingin' up the borrow't plaid, 
An' owre my queer mischanter smilin', 

I took my share o' ae box-bed, 

But couldna sleep for thochte's beguilin'. 

For whae could yon sweet lassie be 

That lauch't at that auF carlin' scaul'in' ? 

'Twas plain, I've said afore, to see 

That cot-hoose couldna be her dwallin'. 

How cam' she to be wonnin' there 
I' that auF muirlan' clay-wa't biggin 

How could a gem sae bricht an' rare 
Be treasur't 'neath its crazy riggin' ? 

It's mair nor therty year sin syne 
That maiden's aiblins noo a grannie 

But 'mang the folk I like to min', 
I offen see her, skeich an' bonnie. 

An' whiles I've thochte that hed she gi'en, 
An' keep't, her word to be sweet-heartit, 

Like ither sweethearts, she'd ha'e been 
Frae mem'ry's hauld lang, lang depairtit. 

A Reminiscence of Corrie. 121 

For weel I wat, fair favours won 

Ha'e frae men's minds aye seuner slippit 

Nor ochte we've set oor hearts upon, 
An' triet to grip but fail't to grip it. 



Aul' Lockerbie ! aul' Lockerbie ! the dear wee toon 

to me ! 
Where, never fleyed, a boy I played, an' roved a 

younker free, 
Wi' heart sae licht that life was bricht as never mair 

it shall, 
For never mair I'll ramble where I drank o' Bessie's 


Yes ! dear to me is Lockerbie, its houses wee an' big, 
Its "Up the gate," its "Doon the gate," its "Cross," 
an' "Through the brig," 

* Bessie's Well was not far from the foot of "Cuddie's 
Lane." The writer has been informed that the well was 
drained or filled up by operations connected with the formation 
of the railway. This ancient fountain, the destruction of which 
is to be deplored, had the traditional reputation of attaching 
all who drank of it with a lasting affection to the town of 
Lockerbie. Bessie's Well has been restored and enclose^ 

Reminiscences of Lockerbie. 123 

Its closes mirk,* its stumpy kirk, its fu' an' thrang 

Where caul' an' deep some dreamless sleep I wish 

dour death had spared. 

A hame to me was Lockerbie when half its roofs 

were theek, 
An' jeests, an' jaums, an' gapin' lums, a' black- 

japann't wi' reek ; 
Whan monie were the middens nerr the whunstane- 

causey't street ; 
But cosie aye its heart^i-mes lay afore the stranger's 


Than Lockerbie had sichts to see at race times an' 

at fairs, 
Wi' Jocks an' Jeans, strang chiel's an' queans, i' 

scores an' scores o' pairs ; 
An' gledging oot the roads aboot or the fair had 

weel begun, 
We'd watch the braw, braw lasses a' pu' on their 

hose an' shune. 

* The existence of "closes mirk" in Lockerbie may be dis- 
puted ; but the writer holds one or two in his recollection well 
suited to the taste of those who love the darkness rather than 
the light. 

124 Reminiscences of Lockerbie. 

I wadna' gie aul' Lockerbie for ony toon I ken, 
For kindly were the kimmers there, an' kindly too 

the men, 
Atweel the bouk were kindly folk, an' some were gey 

an' queer, 
An' whilk remain an' whilk are gane I downa bide 

to spier. 

My thochts oft flee to Lockerbie at midnicht's 

waukrife hour, 
An' thickly flock aul' mem'ries back wi' heart up- 

heesing power, 
An' schulemates dear, an' sweethearts fair, an' frien's 

o' days lang fled, 
I' shadowy train appear again like phantoms roun 1 

my bed. 

There was gude aul' Jeanie Kennedy, an' Jimmie 

Rule, the blin', 
Whase fiddle's squeal we liket weel though't had 

nae tune but yin ; 
Lizzie Dobie, Winnie Stobie, Nickie Scott an' puir 

Jean Hine, 
An' aul' John Kerr, a lamiter, a pawkie frien' o' 


Reminiscences of Lockerbie. 125 

Josie Weepers, Geordie Robison, Tarn Bell, an' 

Cripple Peg, 
An' the puir man nocknamed " Providence," whae 

whiles gaed oot to beg. 
The Carneronian merchants twae, the wee yin an' 

the lang, 
An' Sawney Beck, wi's aul' white heck that scarce a 

fit could gang. 

There was roup-crier Awnro' Jimmison, whae hirplet 

in his walk, 
An' Wullie Smith, a carle o' pith whae squeekit in 

his talk, 
An' wi' a pow maist like a lowe the singin' nailer 

An' droothy twuns, twae burniewun's, Bob Johnston 

an' Jock Steel. 

Wullie Corrie, Sandy Moray, than a licht amang the 

An' hairy-faced Bill Vairy, wi' his wife gaun sellin' 


126 Reminiscences of Lockerbie. 

Funny-speakin' Peggy Meekin, wi' the meetin' nose 

an' chin, 
An' Robie Rule,* auP noisy tule, whase drum made 

sic a din. 

There was winkin' Sandy Linton, makin' peeries 

roun' an' fine 
(Within his doors hoo monie hours o' merriment I 

The pistol-fittit cooper carle whase name was aye a 

An' the twae whase names were bye-words, Wullie 

White an' Michael Smith. 

Wi' mony mae than I may say, but yin I'd like to 

(Gin I forget to him my debt, I'll hide my heid for 

Wi' great respec', the maister stric', an' danglin' frae 

his claws, 
His badge o' rule i' the thrang auP schule, the weel- 

worn cutty tawse. 

* The town drummer and bellman, one of whose functions 
was to parade the streets, drumming the lieges of Lockerbie 
to bed at ten p.m., and out of bed at six a.m. a custom 
which some thought "more honoured in the breach than the 
observance. " 

Reminiscences of Lockerbie. 127 

Sweethearts a score I whyles rhyme ow'r their 

names, Bell, Barb'ra, Bess, 
Ann, Kirsty, Kate, May, Margaret, Jean, Georgie, 

Jamesie, Jess, 
Johanna, Helen, Hannah, Agnes, Maries twae or 

An' a pauchtie dame I'm sweirto name, the dearest 

yince to me. 

But monie a day has passed away, ay, monie a lang 

dark year, 
Sin I'd the chance o' smile or glance frae them lang 

syne sae dear, 
An' hoo they've fared, whase lots they've shared, or 

where the hames they've blest, 
May sometime be revealed to me but noo it's just 

a mist. 

My scheulmates ! hoo they're sqaunder't noo, I haena 

words to say, 
Some east away, some wast away, they a' gaed far 

But what-for say they're wide away, or sunder't far 

abreed *? 
When, weel I wat, it's waur be that, the feck hae 

lang been deid. 

[ 2 8 Reminiscences of L ockerbie. 

Aih me ! aih me ! aul' Lockerbie, my heart sinks 

cauld an' wae 
At the doolfu' thocht o' changes wrocht sin I speel't 

Mount Ulzie's brae ; 
But aye I'm fain to see't again, an' aye I hope an' 

To rest a wee at Lockerbie afore I'm ca't away. 


The following was most kindly sent to me by a gentleman 
well known in west Cumberland who has, from boyhood, been 
a keen and judicious observer of the peculiarities of thought and 
speech prevailing amongst his unsophisticated and unlettered 
neighbours ; and who has also favoured me with extensive con- 
tributions to my stock of anecdotes illustrating the humourous 
side of rustic life in our common county. This remarkable 
piece possesses a higher value than any of my dialect produc- 
tions, amongst which it appears, as being the veritable words 
used by one speaking the Cumberland vernacular and nothing 
else ; and also as an exposition and powerful expression of the 
opinions on the doctrine referred to that prevails amongst his 
class, who are generally very matter-of-fact, and impatient of 
anything that transcends their power of apprehension or that 
goes beyond the grasp of their every-day sense. The old man's 
self-laudation, when put upon his mettle, is perhaps the most 
characteristic point in the sketch. 

jjBOUT five or six years ago a gentleman 
entered a station of one of our local rail- 
ways, and found the worthy station master 
(whose original occupation was that of a small 
Cumberland farmer,) in a state of great excitement. 

1 30 Yan o t Elect. 

He enquired the cause, and received a reply of 
which the following is a verbatim report, committed 
to paper immediately afterwards. We must premise 

that Dr. was a well known amateur preacher, 

a really benevolent man, who did good in his way, 
but had no charity for the opinions of others, and 
was ever intruding his views and advice on all who 
came in contact with him, and believed all who 
differed from him destined to perdition. The 
extreme Calvinistic doctrine of election and repro- 
bation was a perfect mania with him. On this 
occasion he was accompanied by his servant, a man 
of sleek aspect, who distributed tracts, etc., for his 

" "What's t' matter wi' me' ? VVey, theear matter 

plenty ! That Dr. com' here aboot hoaf an 

oor sen to tak' t' train. I was stan'in' at t' time 
aback o' t' ticket wole, an' what d'ye think he says ; 
he says, says he, ' Isaac, you are a very wicked 
old man, and will most certainly be damned ; you 
are worse than Cass (then under sentence of death 
in Carlisle gaol) you are worse than a murderer.' 
Says I, 'Me war' ner a murderer ! What the sham' 
an' hangment d'ye mean be that 1 ?' Says he, 'I 
mean this, old man ; it has been elected from the 
beginning that certain men shall be saved, and 
certain shall be lost. You are among the latter, 
and you will most certainly be damned.' Says I, 
'An' what 'ill come o' you 1 ' Says he, ' Oh, Christ 

Van o f Elect. 131 

elected me many years ago.' Then, says I, ' I 
think he mead a varra feckless choice ; but if it be 
sooa, I wad like to know what I've deun 'at I's to 
be damned ! I've been weddit abeun forty year, 
an' I've hed twelve barnes, an' I browte them o' up 
weel, an' I edicated them weel, an' they've o' turn't 
oot weel ; I've wrowte hard o' me life, an' I niver 
wrang't a man oot of a ho'penny what mair can a 
man deu ?' Says he, ' Isaac, you might do much 
more, you might follow the teaching of the Bible ; 
you might sell all you have and give it to the poor.' 
Says I, ' Sell o' 'at I hev an' give 't to t' poor ! Is I 
to sell t' bed fray anonder me wife 'at she's sleept 
on for forty year 1 Is I to sell t' chair fray anonder 
her 'at she's sitten on for forty year, an' turn her 
oot intil a dike gutter? What kind o' religion is 
ther' i' that ?' Says he, ' Oh, the Lord would provide 
for you.' Says I, 'The Lord provide for me ! Wad 
t' Lord finnd me wid a new bed an' a new chair 1 
an' if he dud, I wad likely hev to sell them ower 
agean ! Sell o' 'at I hev an' gi' 't to t 1 poor ! Do 
you sell o' 'at you hev an' gi' 't to t' poor 1 I niver 
hard tell o' y6 sellin' o' 'at you hev an' gi'in' 't to t' 
poor ! They tell me you hev atween fowrteen an' 
fifteen hundert a year, an' mebbee y6 may, for 
owte I know, gi'e away we'll say, a hunder't a 
year, an' that'll be t' ootside be a gay bit. Do you 
co' that sellin' o' 'at you hev an' gi'n' to t' poor. I 
tell ye, you're a rich man, an' I's no'but a poor an', 

132 Van o f Elect. 

wi' a loosey ten shillin' a week to leeve on ; bit, 
accordin' to what I hev, I consider mysel' to be 
beath a nowbler an' a generouser fella ner you irr ! 
Noo, theear a poor Irish family 'at leeves nar oor 
hoose, an' ivery week end we send them o' t' scraps 
o' meat an' 'taties 'at we ha'e left, forby udder 
things; that's far mair, accordin' to what I've 
gitten, ner your hunder't a 'ear ! You talk aboot me 
bein' damned. Noo, I's neea scholar, bit I've read 
t' Bible for o' that, an' I've read 'at theear two mak' 
o' fwok 'at 'ill be damned yan's leears, an' t' 
tudder's hypocrites. Noo, I'll preuv 'at you're 
beath. You're a leear for sayin' 'at I was war' 
ner a murderer i' Carlisle gaol, an' you're a hypo- 
crite for sayin' seea when you knew you were 
leein' ! I know hoo you mak' o' fwok argies you 
rent t' Scriptur' through an' through to finnd owte 
'at suits ye, an' than ye throw o' t' tudder ower- 

bword. An' I tell you what, Mr. , theear 

anudder thing 'at I've read in t' Scriptur's I've 
read 'at theear to be a day o' judgment. Noo, you 
chaps say 'at it's o' settl't afoorhan' what's to cum 
on us, whoa's to be seav't an' whoa's to be damned. 
You say you're to be seav't an' I's to be damned. 
Noo, what's t' use of a day o' judgment if it's o' 
settl't afoorhan' ! Ther' 'ill be nowte to judge 

aboot ! I'll tell ye what, Mr. , theear will be a 

day o' judgment, an' beath you an' me 'ill ha'e to 
mak' oor appearance ; an' I doon't know bit upon 

Van o f Elect. 133 

the whol' I'll stan' full oot t' better chance o' t' 
two ! An' what's t' use, I wad like to know, o' you 
ga'n an' preachin' i' that girt leath o' yours of a 
Sunday neet till a parshal o' taggelts, if it's o' fix't 
what's to come on them ?' Says he, ' Old man, I 
perceive you are a child of the devil.' Says I, 

' Wey, mebbee ! Bit I'll tell you what, Mr. , 

t' diwel hesn't two better frin's in o' Cummerlan' 
ner you an' that man o' yours an' which on ye 's 
t' bigger kneav I's suer I can't tak' upon mysel' to 
say.' Just than t' train com' up, an' my gentleman 
slipes. Theear was a kind of a country chap stan'in' 
ootside, an' when t' train hed gone, he com' intil t' 
stashun hoose, an' says, says he, 'Is that yan o' 
thur Methody chaps 1 ' ' No,' says I, ' it's yan o' f 
Elect/ 1 " 



EATY Curbison' cat bed a whudderin'waow, 
A waow like a yowl, fit to freeten a man ; 
An' t' leet iv it' e'e was a green glentin' 

Iv it' e'e, we may say, for it no'but bed yan. 
T' ya lug bed been rovven, an' hung like a cloot, 

While t' tudder stack up like t' cockad' iv a hat ; 
Lang whiskers like brussles spread o' roond it' 

It wosn't a beauty Keate Curbison' cat ! 

Keaty Curbison' cat was a terror to t' toon 
Till butt'ry an' pantry it may'd bed a kay. 

Intil ivery hoose, ayder up t' geat or doon, 
By air-wole or chimla it wummelt it' way. 

Keaty Cur bisons Cat. 135 

For thievin' an' reavin' 'twas war' nor a fox, 
Ther' wasn't a hen-hoose it hedn't been at ; 

Young chickens, an' geslins, an' pigeons, an' ducks 
Wer' "ghem, ga 'way tul't" to Keate Curbison' cat. 

Keaty Curbison' cat like a tiger wad feight ; 

When it' back was weel up an'- o' ruddy for war 
It wad lick a cur dog mair nor ten times it' weight, 

An' mongrels an' messans they dursn't cu nar. 
It hed leet of a trap, an' ya feut was tean off, 

An' it' tail hed been dock't but it dudn't mind 

It wad flee at owte whick 'at wad give it a lofe 

A hero, i' hair, was Keate Curbison' cat. 

Keaty Curbison' cat hed of lives a lang lot 

Ye ma' toak aboot nine it hed ninety an' mair ; 
It was preuf agean puzzen or pooder an' shot 

They hed buriet it yance, but it still dudn't care. 
It was tiet iv a meal-bag an' flung into t' beck, 

But t' bag it brong heam for it' mistress a brat, 
Limpin', trailin' 't ahint it wi' t' string round it' neck 

T' beck cudn't droon Keaty Curbison' cat. 

Keaty Curbison' cat browte oald Keaty to grief 
Pooar body ! she nowder was cumly nor rich 

An' t' neybors aboot settlet doon to t' belief 
'At her cat was a divil an' she was a witch. 

136 Keaty Curbisoris Cat. 

An' they said, " Let us swum her i' t ; tarn," .an 
they dud ; 

She sworn a lal bit, an' than droon't like a rat, 
An' t' cat aboot t' spot sworn as lang as it cud ; 

An' finish't at last was Keate Curbison' cat. 


I remember reading somewhere the story of one of the many 
old women so treated, in the wisdom of our ancestors, who 
was drowned while undergoing the common ordeal of being 
bound and thrown into deep water and her cat, supposed to 
be her familiar spirit, swimming in circles over the place 
where she sank till it became exhausted and was also drowned. 
A story which made a lasting impression on my young imagin- 




Jwosep' Thompson leev't lang up at Harrin'ton 
toon/ 1 ) 

An' a weel to dee, throughly oald marrow was Joe, 
Wid a neive like a neaf, an' a feace like a moon, 

An' a shap', standin' up, like a tee-tak-up-o'. 

Jwosep' Thompson hed ola's been hearty an' stoot, 
But trubble o' sum mak's gay sarten to cum, 

An' when threescwore an' two he hed just coontit oot, 
He was terrably tyl't wid a gedderin' thumb. 

For it feister't an' wark't wid sa beadless a stoon, 
'At rist he gat nin for't by neet nor by day ; 

But he rantit aboot, or he reav't up an' doon, 
Fairly greanin' his life an' fwoke's patience away. 

Joseph Thompsons Thumb. 

Ther' wer' pokey oald wives aboot Harrin'ton than, 
An' a varst of advice, o' free gratis, he gat ; 

But he gat nea 'mends, dudn't pooar oald man, 
An' he fail't varra sair iv his leuks an' his fat. 

He seeken't at meat, nay, he'd bowk at a speun ! 

An' his beurd he let growe like a Turk or a gwoat, 
An' he squeak't iv his toak like a fiddle oot o' teun, 

An' like bags full o' nowte hung his britches an' 

But o' things they telt him Joe triet tull his thumb 
Sec as cerat', an' yal-grunds, an' turmets an' skarn, 

Screap't taties, an' 'bacca, an' pooder wid rum, 
An* reuts 'at they raik't oot o' t' boddom o' t' tarn. 

An' fegs, an' bog-unnion, an' blackberry buds, 
An' carrots, an' puppies, an' teadsteuls, an' sneels, 

An' soave mead wid rozzle an' meal boil't i' suds, 
An' t' fat rwoastit oot o' beath hag-wurms an' eels. 

An' strang reisty bakin, an' boil't cabbish skrunt, 
An' broon seap an' sugger, an' typstic, an' tar, 

An' he keept an oald pultess of o' mak's upon't/ 2 ) 
Till Joe an' his thumb warn't nice to cu' nar. 

Joseph Thompsons Thumb. 139 

It was o' nea use nut a crumb dud he mend ! 

An' t' parson co' tull him to pray an' to read, 
An' whisper, " I say, Jwosep' ! think o' thy end" 

But he wadn't he thowte of a doctor asteed. 

An' tul't' doctor he dreav iv his car thumb an' o' 
An' t' doctor said, "Well, my lad off this mun 
cum ! " 

An' he haggelt an' cot at his pultess-bleach't po', 
Till Joe was mead shot of his murderin' thumb. 

T' doctor lapt up his hand varra fewsome an' reet, 
An' Joe, like a man, pait him weel for his job, 

An', creunin', "I's m'appen git sum rist to-neet," 
Joggelt heam, pleased as Punch, wid his thumb 
in his fob. 

An' to t' wife says he, "Tak' 't to t' churchyard oot 
o' geat, 

An' bury 't whoar I'll lig myseF when I dee." 
An' she went wid a trooin an' lantern, leat, 

An' left it i' t' spot whoar Joe said it mud be. 

Jwosep' to'k till his meat, for his hand mendit weel 
(He hed gud healin' flesh, an' fine natur', hed 

He screap't off his beurd he gev ow'r wid his squeel, 
An' was gittin' as pubble an' roond as a bo'. 

I4O Joseph Thompsons Thumb. 

But just when he thowte o' his trubble was gean, 
A pain com' agean, war nor iver he'd fund/ 4 ) 

An' theear it keept burnin' an' bworin' i' t' bean 
O' t' thumb 'at was buriet an' coald under t' grand. 

Jwosep' went back to t' doctor, an' t' oald wicket teul 

H'ard his teal, an' says he, wid a snurt an' a gurn, 

"If thy thumb's i' t' churchyard, thoo pooar priest- 

bodder't feul, 

Thoo ma' mak' thysel' suer while it bides it 'ill 

He laid him sum plaisters an' soav on his po', 
An' gev him sum stuff to lig on tul't at ; 

But nowte putten on tul't gev easement tull Joe, 
For t' burnin' an' bworin' wer' iverly t' seam. 

An' it keept on sa bad, he turn't maffelt an' maiz't, 
An' sa wankle an' wake, 'at he to'k tull his bed, 
Whoar, liggin' hoaf deid, ey, an' mair nor hoaf 


He cud think aboot nowte but what t' doctor hed 

He triet nut to speak on't He knew 'twasn't reet, 
But it ola's bead by him his uppermor' thowte ; 

An' he yammer't at t' wife tull she went back at neet 
To dig up t' oald thumb, an' brong't heam iv a 

Joseph Thompsons Thumb. 141 

They laid it i' t' gardin, an' hoo 't com' aboot 
Nowder t' mistress nor t' parson cud under-cum- 

But sarten it was, fray that varra time oot, 

Sairy Jwosep' was bodder't na mair wid his hand. 

But Jwosep' was niver agean his oald sel'. 

An' a questi'n com' up still whativer he tried, 
" If a thumb i' t' churchyard was sa bad, whoa cud tell 

What a corp' putten in't o'togidder mud bide ! " 

This he maddelt aboot ebben endways away 
As lang as he breath't it was ola's his drone ; 

An' t' wife hed na peace till he gat her to say 
He sud lig by his-sel' iv a field o' the'r oan. 

An' Joe tiet her up till her wurd iv his will, 

For theear suer aneuf when he dee't it was fund 

'At he'd left o' tull hur, no'but if she'd fulfil 
His craze agean liggin' i' consecrate grand. 

An' Joe hed his way, for a square roughish stean* 5 ) 
By t' dike, i' t' Sco'-lonnin', at this varra day, 

Tells whoar Jwosep' Thompson ligs whyet an' lean- 
Keep us weel fray sec doctors as Jwosep's, I pray ! 

142 Joseph Thompsons Thumb. 

An' keep us, I pray, fray o' wild wicket toak, 

Bringan' bodder an' fashment tull oald an' tull 

Jwosep' Thompson wad ristit wid Christian fwoke, 
If t' doctor he went tull hed hodden his tung ! 


1. Harrington Town, the ancient village about half a mile 
inland, is so called in distinction from Harrington Harbour, 
the small sea-port, which is modern. The heiress of the 
family which took its name and title from Harrington was 
mother of the Lord Bonville and Harrington, brother-in-law 
to the king-making Earl of Warwick. The manor was for- 
feited by the attainder of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, great- 
grandson of the said Lord Bonville, and father of Lady Jane 
Grey, and given by the Queen (Mary,) to the Curwens of 
Workington, who, still hold it. 

2. Should this compendium of topical applications seem 
at all overcharged, I would state that it consists of well known 
popular remedies, mostly of some use, and falls far short, 
whether in variety, extravagance, or repulsiveness of the multi- 
farious nostra recommended by amateurs of the healing art in 
Cumberland and the adjacent counties. The "poultice of o' 
maks" is not, as its name seems to imply, a compound, but a 
simple substance, which it is unnecessary to indicate more 
distinctly than to mention that it was generally turned to when 
pleasanter applications had failed. I have frequently heard 
old people extol its virtues as a promoter of suppuration, but 
I trust its use may now be classed with the "many precious 
rites and customs of our rural forefathers,'' which, as Words- 
worth has said, "are gone or stealing from us." 

Joseph Thompsons Thumb. 143 

3. This alludes to the popular belief, not altogether un- 
founded, that readiness in healing is connected with an easy 

4. A delusion common enough after amputation. 

5. The stone stood behind the hedge which on the western 
side fences the lane called Scaw-lonning, near High Har- 
rington. When I last saw it in 1871,. the subjoined inscrip- 
tion was quite distinct upon it plainer, indeed, than any of 
similar date in the churchyard : 

"JOSEPH THOMPSON may here be found 
Who would not lie in consecrated ground 
Died May I3th 1745 
Aged 63 when he was alive" 

With the traditional account of the circumstances that caused 
this fancy of Joseph Thompson's, the details given in the 
rhyme coincide as v -dy as my recollection of a tale heard in 
boyhood enables me to make them. 

Since the first appearance of this, however, another version 
of the matter has been reported to me by old friends near the 
spot but inasmuch as it does not account so perfectly as the 
old story for Joseph's objection to ALL consecrated ground, I 
feel bound to abide by my first choice. The, to me, new 
story tells that Joseph Thompson annoyed the clerk in the 
church so seriously by repeating the responses in a voice that 
quite drowned his, that at length the said functionary exclaimed 
during service " Is thoo t' dark, or is 1 1' dark? If thoo's 
t' dark, cum up hear, an' I'll cum doon thear ! " and, on 
Joseph's paying no attention to his appeal, supplemented it by 
assaulting him. The clergyman taking his clerk's side in the 
quarrel, Joseph Thompson declared he would never come near 
the church again, dead or alive, and kept his word. 

I think that my version is the better, whichever may 
be the truer tale. I have further been told that the 

144 Joseph Thompsons Thumb. 

stone formerly stood in the centre of the field and on the 
land coming into the possession of Mr. John Christian 
Curwen, the farmer waited upon that distinguished agricul- 
turist to obtain permission to remove it to the hedge-side, and 
to plough the field. When he was told the history of the 
monument, and its inscription was recited to him, Mr. Curwen 
exclaimed, more suo, " Would not lie in consecrated ground ! 
Then, plough him up ! D him, plough him up !" 



Cursty Benn of Under-SkiddaW 

Leev't on t' land whoar he was bworn ; 
Eight-ty yacre, lea an' meedow 

Forty, green-crop, seeds an' cworn. 
Cursty' wife, a fewsome body, 

Brong him barnes, some nine or ten, 
Menseful, meat-heal, fat an' ruddy ; 

"Whoar's their like?" said Cursty Benn. 

Cursty hed ya mortal failin' 

Whoa may say they've less nor that-? 
Rayder fond was he o' trailin' 

Off frae heam an' bidin' leat. 
Fray Kes'ick Kit was ola's leatish ; 

Hoo that com' t' wife gat to ken, 
When i' t' market neets she'd nwotish 

Signs o' drink i' Cursty Benn. 

Cursty' wife was kind an' canny, 
Nowder gi'en to flyte nor fret ; 

" Weel aneuf," she said, " I ken he 
Mayn't be cured by sulks an' pet ; 

146 Cur sty Benn. 

But I moon't sit by an* see him, 
Gear an' grun' spang-hew an' spen', 

I mun gang till Kes'ick wi' him ! " 
Nowte agean't said Cursty Benn. 

When they dadg't away togidder, 

O' row't reet a canny bit ; 
Cursty, pleas't to market wid her, 

Tiped his pints, but dudn't sit. 
No'but for a bit it lastit 

Sooa 't's been afoor an' sen ! 
When fwoke thowte she'd wiled him past it, 

Tull't agean went Cursty Benn. 

Tull't agean i' t' public-hooses, 

Whilk an' Cursty dudn't care ; 
Adam Gill's, or Mistress Boose's, 

T' Yak, t' Queen's Heed, or t' Hoonds an' Hare. 
Through them o' t' wife whiles went laitin' 

Whiles, for hours an' hours an' en', 
In their shandry sat she waitin', 

Coald on t' street, for Cursty Benn. 

Ya' fine neet when leat she gat him 
Fairly fworc'd to flyte, t' poor deam 

Lowsed her tongue reet freely at him, 
While t' oald yoad went stammerin' heam. 

Cur sty Benn. 147 

Whietly Kit bore her clatter, 

Nea back-wurd he'd gi'en her, when 

T' mear pu't up aside some watter ; 
" Drink, gud lass ! " says Cursty Benn. 

Lang she dronk, an' lood she gruntit, 

Till a gay gud drain she'd hed ; 
Than as t' rwoad yance mair she fruntit, 

Cursty' wife tull Cursty said 
" Sees t'e, min ! that pooar oald mear, 

When she's full, she's t' sense to ken ; 
Can't thoo tak' a pattren bee her 

Drink an' deun wi't, Cursty Benn ?" 

" Whey !" says Kit, "but turn that watter 

Intill yall, wid udder yoads 
Swattin' roond it hoddin' at her 

Tellin' her t' time mak's na odds 
Shootin' oot, ' Here's te the', Cursty ! '- 

(Mears is mears men's nowte but men ! 
But I durst lay a pund 'at durst Ee, 

She'd sit on like Cursty Benn ! " 


Of this anecdote different versions are current, and various 
localities are assigned to it Scotch as well as English. I 
presume to consider, however, the Cumber land version, as 
given above, the best of all that have been given. 


jjPATS?" said Tom, " Nay ! I niver bed a 
par o' spats i' my life ; but yance I'd as 
nar as a toucher gitten two par ; an' I's 
tell ye hoo it com' aboot 'at I dudn't. 

" Nut varra lang efter we wer' weddit, an oald 
uncle o' t' wife's com' ower t' fell frae Ireby to see 
us, an' stop wid us a bit. Ya ebenin' when we wer' 
sittin' crackin' away roond t' fire, some way or 
udder oor toak happen't to turn on men-fwoke's 
driss, t' change o' fashions, an' sec like ; an' oald 
uncle Geordie begon to brag 'at they used to driss 
far better when he was yung nor they dud than ; 
an' by way o' clinchin' his teal, he says, ' Can ye 
finnd me a smo' steatsman's sun noo-a-days 'at '11 
worder six par o' white corduroy knee britches o' 
at yance !' ' Six par o' corduroy britches?' says I. 
'Ey,' says he, 'corduroy britches, as white as drip !' 
' Whey, no ! ' says I, ' I wadn't ken whoar to leuk for 
a fellow 'at wad git six par o' britches of any mak' 
o' at yance?' 'Well than,' says he, 'just rub yer 

Tom Railtons White Spats. 149 

een clear, an' leuk hard to this side o' yer oan fire,' 
says he, ' an' ye'll see a fellow 'at beath wad an' 
dud git them ! When I furst begon to ride efter t' 
hoonds,' says he, 'I gat six par o' white cword 
britches, an' two par o' top beuts. T' beuts was 
worn oot many a year sen, but I've t' six par o' 
britches yit, laid bye, an' for owte I know they're as 
white as iver.' Wid that our wife spak up she 
thowte a vast mair aboot my leuks than nor she 
does noo an' she says, ' Uncle George,' says she, 
' will ye iver weear yer white britches agean ! ' 
' Nay, my lass,' says he, ' I think my white britches 
days is gaily weel ower, but what o' that 1 ' ' O, 
nowte,' says she, ' but I've a nwotion 'at Tom here 
wadn't misbecome white britches an' top beuts, 
when he's ridin' aboot ; an' as they're o' nea use till 
yersel' noo, ye'd better send them ower till him.' 
' Whe e ey ! ' says he, iv a dronin' soort of a 
way, ' Whey ! Whey ! but m'appen they willn't 
gang on him,' says he. ' O ! ' says she, ' but ye 
know we med mebbe let them oot a bit, an' mak' 
them gang on him.' 'Well, well,' says her uncle, 
' I'll send him ya par on them to try, an' if they fit, 
an' he likes them, he may hev mair efter.' An' 
sure aneuf, when he went back heam agean, he 
sent a par on them ower, as he said, as white as 
drip ; an' we beath thowte he mud ha' been a 
parlish oald buck if he hed o' udder things to 
match when he gat sec a stock o' white britches. 

150 Tom Railtons White Spats. 

Nowte wad sarra t' wife, when we'd leukt at them, 
but I mud try them on theear an' than, an' see hoo 
they fittit. We gat a terrible begonk when we 
fund 'at they wadn't gang on at o'. He was rayder 
a wizzent oald fellow than, an' he'd been a wizzent 
fellow when he'd gean sproguein' aboot iv his white 
corduroys mebbe thurty year afoor, for t' knees on 
them, wid o' t' buttons lowse, wadn't come ower t' 
bo's o' my legs, an' what was warse nor o' t' tudder, 
ther was nowte left o' t' seam to let them oot wid. 
Sooa they wer laid bye be theirsel's at oor hoose, 
just as t' tudder five par on them wer liggin' laid 
bye togidder at Ireby. 

A gay while efter that, when I'd forgitten o' aboot 
t' white britches, an oald crony o' mine chanced to 
be iv oor part, an' co't to see us, an' stopt o' neet. 
We nwotish't 'at he hed shoes on, an' t' bonniest 
spats we'd iver owder on us seen ; for they fittit 
roond his ancles an' ower his shoe tops widoot 
ayder a lirk or a lowse spot ; an' I said, ' Charley,' 
says I, ' whoariver did te manish to git sec fitters as 
them 1 " ' O ! ' says he, ' I hed t' pattren on them 
frae Scotland, an' my sister maks them for me as I 
want them.' ' Thy sister maks them ! ' says I, 
'Whey, I wad ha' sworn thoo'd been to t' varra 
heid tailior i' Whitehebben for them !' 'Well,' says 
he, ' t' pattren's sa plain an' simple 'at she cuts 
them oot by it, an' mak's them quite easy ; an', as 
ye 'say, they fit as weel as if t' best tailior i' t' land 

Tom Railtons White Spats. 1 5 1 

bed been at t' makin' on them. But if ye like, I'll 
send ye t' pattren by post, an' Mistress Railton 
may try her hand at them for thee.' 

" Well, t' pattren o' t' spats com, as Charley 
promish't it sud, an' efter she'd leiik't it weel ower, 
an' fittit it on my feut, t' wife clap't her hands an' 
shootit, ' I can dee't, Tom ! I can dee't ! an' thoo 
sail hev a par of white spats. There's nowte maks 
a man leuk sa like a gentleman as clean white 
spats ! Did t'e iver see Dr. Dick Ringer o' Cocker- 
mouth 1 Well, what was't 'at mead him ola's leuk 
cleaner, an' breeter, an' fresher, an' better-like nor 
anybody theear? Whey, nowte at o' else but t' 
white spats 'at he used to weear ivery day ! I'll 
mak thee a par o' spats oot o' pooar oald uncle 
Geordie's corduroys 'at wadn't gang on the', an' I'll 
mak them i' time for the 1 to put on when thoo 
gangs to Peerith nixt market day ! ' I so' it was 
nea use sayin' she sudn't, if I'd been that way 
inclined, an' I wasn't ; sooa she set to wark off 
hand, an' ripp't doon t' white breeks, an' pin't 
Charley's pattren on t' death, an' cot it up by 't ; 
an', as her heart was set on t' job, she hed t' spats 
finish 't lang afoor t' time she said. When we com 
to try them on, yan on them was a varra decent fit, 
but t' tudder wasn't : it seem't to stand off whoar it 
sud sit clwose, an' to sit clwose whoar it sudn't; an' 
it was a gay while afooar we fund oot t' reason on't. 
But I happn't, at last, to glime up at hur, an' ther 

1 5 2 Tom Railtoris White Spats. 

was mair trubble iv her feace ner I'd iver seen 
afooar. 'Bliss thy heart, Mary !' says I, 'whativer's 
t' matter wid the' 1 Thoo leuks as if thy poddish 
was welsh f 'Doesn't thoo see?' she says. 'Can 
t nut see 'at I've mead them beath for t' seam feut 1 
Whoar's thy eyes, thoo mafflin 1 ' says she, tackin' 
it oot o' me acoase she was mad at hersel', 'Whoar's 
t' een on the', I wunder, 'at thoo doesn't see t' 
buttons is at t' inside o' t' ya feut, an' t' ootside o' 
t' tudder 1 ' 'By jing,' says I, ' an' seea they urr ! 
Thoo hes mead a fist on't ! Thoo hes tailior't till a 
bonnie end ! If this be thy tailiorin', I think thoo'd 
better stick till thy hoose-keepin' wark for t' rist o' 
thy life !' But I so' t' watter gedderin' iv her eyes, 
an' I so' 'at it no'but wantit anudder wurd or two 
to mak' her blurt reet oot, an' seea I said nea mair. 
O' at yance she breeten't up agean, an' pot her arm 
roond my neck an' ga'e me a kiss, an' said, ' Niver 
fret aboot it, Tom lad,' says she, ' ther's aneuf left 
o' t' oald britches to mak anudder par o' spats. 
Thoo's gitten two for t' reet feut, an' thoo sail hev 
two for t' left, an' than thoo need niver gang frae 
heam adoot white spats to thy feet, for t' ya par 'ill 
wesh t' tudder, thoo sees ! ' 

" I thowte I was ga'n to be set up wi' spats for 
sure, for she went at t' oald corduroy agean feurcer 
nor iver, an' hed two mair mead afoor I ken't whoar 
I was. She hed them o' wesh't an' iron't, an' straps 
putten on them, ruddy for ga'n to church o' t' Sunday 

Tom Rail f on s White Spats. 153 

mwornin' ; but loavin' bliss us o' weel ! if she hedn't 
ge&n an' mead o' t' fower for t' reet feut, an' left me 
just as far off hevin' spats to my feet as iver. Mad 
as we war, we beath brast oot laughin', an' laugh' t 
tull hur laugh hed rayder less of a cry in't nor it 
hed at t' furst, an' than says I, ' What's to be deun 
noo, Mally !' I says, 'Urr we to send till Ireby for 
anudder par o' t' drip white corduroys, an' hev 
fower par o' spats 1 I is ga'n to be weel spattit i' t' 
lang run ! ' ' Nay,' says she, ' I'll spat the' na mair 
spats ; I'll lig thur i' my oan top-dro'er, an' when- 
iver I see them they'll be a warnin' to me nut to 
mell wi' wark 'at I hevn't been browte up till. 
Fwoke says it taks nine tailiors to mak' a man, but 
I divn't think anybody hes tell't us hoo many 
women it may tak' to mak' a tailior ; but whedder 
it tak's many or few, thoo may mak' thysel' seaf an' 
suer 'at thy wife willn't be yan o' them.' An' that 
was t' way I was deun oot o' my chance o' gittin' 
two par o' spats." 


|IVER agean, Eddy ! Niver agean ! 
If I moo'n't hev a lad 'at 'ill coort me my 

'At 'ill hod by ya sweetheart, an' me be that yan, 

I mun bide as I is till I dee. 
Thu's coddel't Keat Crosstet, Ann Atchin, Jane 


'Becca Rudd, Mary Mo'son, Ruth Lytle, an' mair ; 
Thoo says it's o' fun, an' sec fun ma' be fair, 
But it doesn't seem jannic to me. 

I favour't the', ey ! abeun o' t' lads aboot ; 
I thowte, like a feul, 'at thu'd sing-elt me oot 
Frae t' tudders, an' I've been reet sarra't, na doobt, 

To trust sec a taistrel as thee. 
Reet sarra't 1 Ey, mess ! I was warn't gaily weel, 
I was tel't hoo thu'd feul't an' than left Greacy Peile ; 
An' what reet hed I to believe thoo wad deal 

Ayder fairer or fonter wi' me ? 

A Sneck Posset. 155 

Fwoke tel't me thoo com of a slape, sneeky breed; 
'At a tungue sec as thine seldom hung iv a heid ; 
'At twice i' three times when thoo said owte, thoo leed ; 

But I fanciet that hardly cud be. 
For 'Speatry, I kent, was a hard-spocken pleace, 
An' I thowte 'at, may-hap, thu'd been wrang't aboot 

Greace ; 
God help me ! I thowte I read t' truth i' thy feace, 

When thoo swore thoo cared only forme. 

We're silly, us lasses We're maizlins, I know ! 
We're t' meast tean wi' them 'at oor frinds meast 

misco' ; 
An' when we're tean in, we've to shear what we sow, 

An' to rue sec mistaks till we dee. 
But leet com' i' time, an' it o' com' at yance, 
I so't fair aneuf, but, to give thee ya chance, 
I went by mysel' to Jane Loncaster's dance, 

Just to see if thoo dud care for me. 

Theear, hoaf oot o' sect, a bye corner I teuk, 
An' thoo dudn't cu' nar ; nut a smile nor a leuk 
Dud te kest to poor me, as I dark't i' my neuk, 

An' wunder't I'd trustit i' thee. 
Thoo stack till Bess Bruff like a cockelty bur ; 
An' she cutter't wi' thee just to greg Harry Scurr; 
When t' cushi'n com' in thoo teuk t' cushi'n tull hur, 

An' thoo glimed, when thoo kiss't her, at me. 

156 A Sneck Posset. 

But Harry an' Bess mead it up iv a crack ; 

An' noo, 'at thu's hed a begonk, thoo cii's back ; 

But if thu's fund oot thine, I've fund oot my mistak', 

An', I'll ho'd myseP heart-heal an' free. 
Sooa Neddy, gud lad, dro' thy steak, an' be ga'n ; 
Araang thy oald chances thu's m'appen finnd yan 
Ma' be fain, though thu's snaip't her, to hev the* 

But, Eddy ! that yan isn't me. 



The dialect of Cumberland, spoken in its purity only in the 
central parts of the county, may be admitted to be deficient in 
euphony ; and, remarkable as it is for force and expression, its 
harshness of cadence renders it scarcely available for any 
poetry except the humorous or descriptive. By those unac- 
customed or unattached to it, it may probably be considered 
hard and coarse even in prose compositions. 

Its principal peculiarity is to be found in its vowel and dip- 
thongal sounds, which, for the most part, are made either 
broader or deeper than in ordinary pronunciation; and this 
may be indicated with sufficient ease and distinctness, by 
means of phonetic spelling, when written or printed, to enable 
any reader, with a little practice and care, to pronounce broad 
Cumbrian with tolerable correctness. 

The most important instances of this vowel peculiarity exist 
in the pronunciation of the long A and the short U, the 
former of which is sounded generally yah and the latter uh ; 
thus to secure the Cumbrian pronunciation ale must be 
spelled yahl, and acejya/m, lame is made lyahm, name nyahm, 
etc., etc., all monosyllabic, or, to prevent the accent being laid 
upon the Y, and so making two syllables, these words might 
be written leahm, neahm. As regards the U, the first syllable 
of cunning is in Cumberland lengthened out exactly to the 
sound of the German kuhn, and come is made kuhm. These 
sounds can only be conveyed by the interposition of the H. 


When I first scribbled in the folk-speech of Cumberland I 
wrote it after this fashion, and the efficacy of the method was 
proved by the fact that intelligent or painstaking readers, 
knowing nothing of the dialect as spoken, were able to repeat 
the verses called "Branthet Neuk Boggle" in a style that 
might have satisfied even an exigeant professor of our Cum- 
brian philology. 

The Cumberland dialect so written, however, had a remark- 
ably ugly and uncouth appearance when printed, and the 
remonstrances of my present provincial publisher induced me 
to abandon the H orthography, and endeavour to secure the 
proper pronunciations by means of accent marks, spelling the 
words instanced above learn, nedm, cunning, cum, et similia 

The broad O and Oa are in our Cumberland speech altered 
into ed,, with the sound of yah, home becoming heam, broad 
brecbd, etc. There are exceptions to this as to most other 
rules, for lane is rendered as Iwoan or lonniti , choke as chowk, 
croak as crowk, road at rwoad, and more as mair, while shore 
has its ordinary sound. Almost in reversal of these changes, 
the broad A as in ball, a dance, Al, as in walk, Aw, as in 
awful, are sounded like the broad O or Oa, thus boall, woak, 
oaful, etc. ; but the L is preserved in oala's, for always, scalp 
is pronounced scowpe, and ball, a plaything, is bo\ all, oa\ 
call, co\ hall, ho\ etc., etc. 

Ea gets the pronunciation properly given to it in veal and 
mead ; so that bread is breed, head, heed, dead, deed, etc., 
etc. ; but when this dipthong precedes R, as in bear, wear, 
etc., it becomes dissyllabic like fear, as commonly pronounced, 
and mare too becomes mee-ar. 

Ei becomes ay, either and neither becoming ayder and 
nayder, sometimes awder and nmvder. 

The broad I in bite, write, etc., the Cumbrians deepen 
almost as is done by well educated people in the southern 
counties, with notable exceptions however, the first personal 


pronoun being made Ah ; Igh, shortened and gutturalized by 
the Scotch, being sounded like Ee, night being neet, light, 
leet, etc., and find and bind pronounced like wind, viz. 
finnd, binnd. 

The double O is generally pronounced eu, or more exactly 
yuh shortly, fool being feul, school, 'scheul, etc., in one short 
syllable. Do and too are often pronounced according to this 
rule, but almost equally often are made into dee and tee, while 
the preposition to is for the most part changed into till or full. 

With Ou and Ow Cumberland speakers are somewhat 
capricious, round being made roond, town, toon, etc., but 
found and bound become fund and bund, ought, owte, 
nought, nowte, etc. 

O with the sound of the short U is treated in a very 
arbitrary manner one being called yan, none, nin, and oven, 

Qu is generally softened into wh, aspirated distinctly 
quick being pronounced whick, and quite, white, and Quaker, 
with old people, is Whaker. 

Y is sometimes converted into G, as in garth for yard, garn 
for yarn ; and again that habit is sometimes reversed, as in 
yatt for gate. 

The corruptions or variations of consonants are not so 
marked as those of vowels. The most notable are the 
hardening of Th into Dd, making father, /adder, mother, 
mudder, etc. ; and the dropping of the two last of the three 
letters in the definite article, well illustrated by the White- 
haven boy's reply to an enquiry as to what ships had come 
in : "7" 'Enry, an' f 'Ebe, an' f Ant, an' t' Atlas, an' f 
Aurora;" i.e. the Henry, the Hebe, the Ant, the Atlas, and 
the Aurora. Then we may notice the discarding of the final 
letter from all words ending in ing, and changing that syllable 
in all present participles to an, the participle of pass being in 
Cumberland more like the French passant than the English 
- ; also the final age being made ish, as in cabbish for 


cabbage, manish for manage, etc. ; the final ous too under- 
going the same change, as in faymish for famous, parlish for 
parlous, etc. ; also idge as mpoddish for porridge, or primarily, 

V is often converted into B or Bb evening, eleven, White- 
haven, being called ebenin\ debben, Whitehebben, etc. 

These corruptions and deviations comprise nearly all the 
points wherein the dialect of Cumberland differs in sound and 
pronunciation from ordinary English speech ; and set forth 
roughly, as they are, (abbreviations explaining themselves, 
and archaic words being given in a concise glossary,) they 
may, with a little attention, enable the uninitiated reader to 
understand all the Cumbrian pieces contained in this volume. 

Some irregular verbs, as well as some not commonly classed 
as irregular, are curiously varied in Cumbrian conjugations. I 
give a few of these, written down as they rise in recollection, 
and arranged Lindley Murray's fashion. 



Past Participle. 





Brong, and Brang 


Brust (burst) 



Cleed (clothe) 





Clim't and 


Cum (come) 




Cot and Cuttit 




Drucken & 








Git (get) 



Gi'e (give) 



Ga and Gang (go) 



Greet (weep) 




Hat and Hot 


Ho'd (hold) 








Past Participle. 

Kest (cast) 







May'd or Med 

Mun (must) 
















Stuck and Stucken 





Tok and Teuk 





Minced or modified oaths are remarkably numerous in 
Cumberland, and in very common use. Most of them have 
descended from the old Roman Catholic times when, as Dr. 
Newman in speaking of Roman Catholic populations of the 
present day, .avers, habitual swearing indicated piety and 
reverence for things sacred, and not profaneness. As heard 
now in Cumberland, these ancient expletives are as void of 
piety as of profanity, being used without any knowledge of 
their original signification, and merely to add force to assever- 
ation, and to express, as varied in tone, surprise, disgust, 
pleasure, or indeed almost any feeling or emotion whatever. 
I append a few of these with their probable, often obvious, 
etyma : 

'Scush or Skerse God's curse 

Goy, and Goy Sonn God, and God's Son 

Gock, and Gock Sonn Ibid. Ibid. 

'Od's wuns an' deeth God's wounds and death 

Loavin' days Loving Jesus 

'Od's wintry wuns God's sundry, or wondrous, 


'Od's wyte leet on thee God's blame fall on you 



'Od rot, 'Od sink, etc., etc. See Dickinson's Glossary 

' Marry By Mary 

' Mess By the Mass 

Dar, Dy, and Dyne Damn 

Faix, and Faikins Faith 

Cock's wunters God's wonders 

Loze Lord 

My song My soul 

Deil bin Devil be in 

The peculiarities of the Scottish dialect have been explained 
by many writers, much more ably, as well as more at length, 
than may be done by me. Therefore the only assistance 
towards the understanding my Scots rhymes that I offer the 
reader is to intermingle, in the glossary appended, such 
Scottish words as I have used, with those proper to Cumber- 
land and those common to both sides the Border. 

The brief glossary here given consists, then, only of the 
words used hi Scotland or Cumberland, or both, which appear 
in the foregoing Tales and Rhymes ; corruptions and abbrevi- 
ations being omitted. The significations I alone am answer- 
able for, having, in nearly all instances, adopted the sense I 
can recollect the words being used in by the people speaking 
them in their daily talk. The quotations are intended to 
make these significations more intelligible, and also, by 
showing the manner in which the words so illustrated are 
used by others, to prove that the meanings I have so adopted 
are generally correct. 





C signifies that the word it follows is Cumbrian. S that it 
is Scotch. S and C that it is common to both diakcts. 

Addle, or Eddie, C, earn. 

"What, I mun tak' my flale wimma, antres I git a job er 
two a threyshin, Ise addle summat be't." 

Rev. T. Clarke. Johnnie Shippard. 

Aiblins, S, perhaps. 

' ' But aiblins neighbour ye have not the heart, 
An' downa eithly wi' the cunzie part. " 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 

Aneuf, C, enough in quantity. 
Anew, C, enough in number. 

"We've anew o' sec as thee, an' aneufo' what thou brings 
wid thee." Said to a Hawker. 

Aslew, C, amiss, out of course. 

"There's nowte sa far aslew but gud manishment med set 
it streight. " Proverb. 


Atweel, S, I wot well. Used to strengthen either affirmation 
or denial. 

"Are they a' Johnie's? 

Eh ! atweel na ; 
Twa o' them were born 
When Johnie was awa." 

Song We're a' Noddin'. 


Back-end, C, late autumn. 

"T back-end's ola's t' bare-end." Proverb. 

Bain, C, near, convenient. Used in most of the northern 


"I swin'd my ways t' bainest geeat ower t' fell into Sleddle." 
Rev. T. Clarke. Johnnie Shippard. 

Bairn, S, a child ; Barne, C. 

"Maidens' bairns are aye weel bred." Proverb. 

"They hed barnes an' bits o' flesh persiiVd i' bottles as 
fwok does berries." Ritson. The Borrowdale Letter. 

Barken't, S and C, encrusted. 

"For God-seak put that barne in t' dolly-tub an' scrub' t : 
it's fairly barked t ower wid muck." Said of a rarely washed 

Barrow-back' t, C, bent by heavy work, such as wheeling 

loaded barrows. 

"He's gitten bow't an' barrow-back 't, an' wizzent sair o' t' 
feace." Heard at Ullock. 

Batt, S and C, a blow. 

" At ya batt he fell't me flat, 
'Od dye ! he'll be a darter." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot 

Baiil', S, bold, fierce. 

"The first fuff o' a fat haggis is aye the bauVest." Proverb. 

Beadless, C. This adjective is used to signify intolerable in 

suffering, and also impatient of pain thus 
"He says t' pain's headless, but than he's a headless body." 

Said to a Doctor. 


Beck, C, a rivulet. 

" Change is leetsome, if it's no'but oot o' bed intil t' beck." 


Beel, C, to bellow like a bull. 

"Summet tha caw't roworgins began a beelirt like a hundred 
mad bulls, an' as many lal lads i' ther sarks began a screamin' 
murder, I think, for ivery bed was like thunner. " 

Ritson. The Borrowdale Letter. 

Begonk, Old S and C, a disappointment, "a sell." 

"Now Cromwell's gane to Nick ; an' ane ca'd Monk 
Has played the Rumple a richt slee begunk" 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 

Begood, S, began. 

' ' The baronne he begood to bob, 
No longer colde he stande. " 

Hogg. Lyttil Pynkie. 

Beild, S and C, shelter. 

"Better a wee buss than nae bald.''' 1 

Proverb. Burns 1 s Motto. 

"Weal &m#frae t' fell wind by some heeh crags." 

Rev. T. Clarke. T' Reysh-bearin'. 

Bein, S, snug, comfortable. 

" Were your bein rooms as thinly stocked as mine, 
Less ye wad lose, and less wad ye repine." 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 

Belyve, S and C, by and bye. 

" Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in." 

Burns. Cotter's Saturday Night. 

Ben, S, the inner part of a house. 

"It's ill bringing but what's no ben." Proverb. 

Bent, S, a coarse hard grass ; applied also to the sterile land 
where bent grows. 

" Gin ye' 11 consent to scour the bent 
Wi' me, a rantin' Hielandman." 

Hamilton. Song. 


Billie, S, brother. 

" Be of gude cheir, now, Archie lad ! 
Be of gude cheir, now, dear billie" 

Ballad Archie o' Ca'field. 

Bink, S, a bench for sitting upon. 

"For faut o' wise fouk feuls sit on binks." Proverb. 

Birl, S, to drink in conviviality ; also to spend money in 

" When they were at the supper set 
An' birlitf at the wine. " 

Ballad Young Huntin. 

"She took me in, she set me doon, 

An hecht to keep me lawin' free ; 
But, cunning carlin' that she was, 
She gar't me birl my bawbee." 

Song Andro' wi' his cutty gun. 

In the lake country the attendants who serve the drink 
round at sheep-shearings, etc., are called burlers. 

Birkie, S, a brisk forward fellow. 

" See yon birkie ca'd a lord." 

Burtts. For a' that. 

Black-kites, C, bramble berries ; in some parts called 
brummel-kites, hi others black-bums. 

" I wantit grog she brong mg black-kite wine." 

Heard at Harrington. 

Blate, S and C, bashful. 

" A blate cat maks a proud mouse." Proverb. 

" I've wonder't oft o' leate 
What made thee leuk sea skar an' seem sea bleate." 

Graham. Gwordie and Will. 

Bleeze, S and C, flame. 

" In winter when he toils through wind and rain, 
A bleezii? ingle and a clean hearth-stane." 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 

i6 7 

Blether, S and C, noisy silly talk, loquacityv 

" A lawyer neist, wi' blether M gab, 
Wha speeches wove like onie wab." 

Old Song Jenny's Bawbee. 

" Chaps like these, like butterflees, 
Win owte wi' pride an' blether.' 1 '' 

Anderson. Laird Johnie. 
Blink, S, glance. 

" The evening sun was ne'er s'ae sweet 
As was the blink o' Phemie's e'e." 

Burns. Blythe was she. 
Blurt, C ; Blirt, S, sudden burst of weeping, etc. 

"The lassie lost her silken snood, 
Whilk cost her monie a blirt an' bleer e'e." 

Blythe, S, cheerful, happy. 

" A blythe heart mak's a blooming look." Proverb. 
Bood, S, behoved to. 

" Weel leese me o' you, S outer Jock, 
For tricks ye hood be tryin'." 

Ferguson. The Election. 
Boune, Old S, to journey or go. 

' ' Win up ! win up, now, Hynde Etin, 
Win up, an' Itoune wi' me. " 

Ballad Hynde Etin. 
Bowk, S and C, to retch. 

" For aye ye sup the brose at e'en 
Ye bowk at in the morn, lassie. " 

Song Ye ha'e lain wrang, lassie. 
Brae, S, bank of a stream, brow. 

" 'Neath the brae the burnie jooks." 

Tannahill. Gloomy Winter. 

Brackin', C ; Breckan, S, the common fern (Pteris Aquilina). 

A lady near Hawkshead having bought a small fern plant 

at a flower show, a neighbour exclaimed, "Three and sixpence 

for a Hie brackin ! I'd ha' browte her a leead o' them for't !" 

" Round the sylvan fairy nooks 

Feathery breckans fringe the rocks." 

Tannahill. Gloomy Winter. 

1 68 

Brant, C, steep. 

"Old Man ! Old Man ! your sides are brant." 

The Old Man. 

Brat, S and C, apron ; (used frequently for clothing in general. ) 
"To get them brats, then, ye maun toil an' spin." 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 
"To see her whol'd stockings, her brat, an' her gown." 

Anderson. Our Sukey. 

Braw, S, fine, handsomely attired. 

" Upon the banks o' flowing Clyde 
The lasses busk them braw." 

Burns. Of a' the Airts. 

Break, C, a joke, a bit of fun. 

"Joe Tyson teem't a pint o' yall doon Danny Towsori' 
back. Wasn't that a break ? " Heard at Dean. 

Buirdly, S, stout, strongly made. 

' ' They say ill ale has been the deid 
O' monie a buirdly loon." 

Ferguson. Leith Races. 

Burn, S, a brook. 

" Beside that brig, out owre that burn, 
Where water bickereth bright and sheen." 

Ballad ^-Thomas the Rhymer. 

Burnewin, S, a blacksmith (burn the wind). 

' ' An' burnewin comes on like death 
At every chaup." 

Burns. Scotch Drink. 

But, S, the outer apartment of a house. 

"The auld wife cried but the house, 'Jenny, come ben.' " 
Song The Yellow Hair'd Laddie. 

But, S, without (probably from be out). 

"Beauty but bounty's but bauch." Proverb. 
But and, Old S, also, likewise. 

" Adieu, madame, my mother dear, 
But and my sisters three. " 

Ballad Lord Maxwell's Good Night. 


Byspel, C, a mischevious person. 

" It's a fair byspel 'at is't. It breaks o' 'at cums iv it 'geat." 


Cabbish-skrunt, C ; Kail-runt, S, the stalk of a cabbage. 
" Cabbish-skrunt pultess is grand for biles." 

Said by a rustic Doctor. 

Canny, C, (Connie in Furness, etc.) nice 1 , attractive, pleasant. 

"God speed ye weel ! a cannier pair 

Ne'er kneeled afore a priest." 

Miss Blamire. The Sailor Lad. 

Canny, S, gentle, careful. 

"Be canm'ewi' the cream." A common legend on tea-ware. 
Canty, S, happy, cheerful. 

" Canty war we ower yere kail, 
Toddy jugs an' draps o' ale." 

Hogg. The Laird o' Lamington. 

Carle, S, a vulgar man. 

"Auld gudeman ye' re a drucken carle, a drucken carle." 

Sir A. Boswell. Song. 

Carlin, S, a coarse old woman ; feminine of Carle. 

On being told that the wives of the Scottish Judges claimed 
the title of "My Lady," their husbands being " My Lord," 
King James V. exclaimed, "I made the carles lords, but wha 
the deil made the carlins leddies ?" 

Charts, S and C, the jaws. 

" On Seat on crafts they bufft their chafts, 
An' garrt them rin like daft, man." 

Skir-vin. Tranent Muir. 
" At time when nowte but teeth was gawn, 
An' aw by th' chafts was tether' t." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 

Chap, S, rap, strike or stroke. 

" An' quhan he cam' to Barnard's Ha' 
Would neither chap nor ca'." 

Ballad Gilmorice. 


Chiel', S, a man ; generally applied to young men. 
" Weel we lo'e the chieV we think 
Can get us tick or gi'e us drink." 

Ferguson. My Aul' Breeks. 
Clash, C and S, scandal, gossip. 

" The king, the laws, the reets o' man, 
The parish clash, the empire's ban." 

Stagg. New Year's Epistle. 
Clatter, S and C, superfluous, rapid or noisy talk. 

"He that talks till himsel' clatters till a feul." Proverb. 
Clink, C, a sounding blow. 

" An' brong fisher Jemmy a clink i' the lug." 

Anderson. Burgh Reaces. 

Clippin', C, sheep-shearing. A great festival on the larger 
dale farms. For a description see "The Old Man," first 

Clemm'd, C, starved with hunger. A Lancashire and 

Cheshire word. 

Nixon, the Cheshire prophet, said he was "going to London 
to be clemirfd" and was accidentally shut up in a closet with- 
out food, and there found dead so fulfilling his prophecy. 

Clot-heed, C, blockhead. 

"I is ga'n to be a clot-heed I's leavin' nin for mysel' ! " 

Anthony Gasgarth, carving a goose at a hunt dinner. 

Clowk, C, clutch or grasp greedily. 

" He mead a clowk at my neckcloth and missed it." 

Said after a fight. 
Cobbles, C, stones rounded by water-wear. 

" Smith Lytle fell oot wi' the cobbles, 
An' peel'd o' the bark off his shins." 

Anderson. The Codbeck Wedding. 
Coddle, C, Cuddle, S, embrace. 

" I trimlin' steud an' dursn't speak, 
But fain wad coddled Peggy Penn." 

Anderson. Peggy Pen. 
" I've seen the day ye butter' t my brose, 

An' cuddlet me late an' early." 
Old Song The Deuks dang owre wi' my Daidie. 

Corbie, S, the carrion crow. 

"It's kittle shootin' at corbies or clergy." Proverb. 
Crack, S and C, converse ; also boast. 

" They cracKt away like bourtree guns." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 
"Keep oot o' his company that cracks o' his cheatrie." 


Croodle, or Cruddle, S and C, crouch or shrink. 
" My bonnie wee croodlirf doo." 

Old Song. 

" We sat doon an' grat under a hedge or a wo', o' cruddled 
togidder." Betty Yewdale. T' terrible Knitters i' Dent. 
Grouse, S, brisk, bold, "bumptious." 

"A cock's aye crottse on its ain midden-heed." Proverb. 
Cushion dance, C, the finishing dance at a rural ball or 


A young man, carrying a cushion, paces round the room in 
time to the appropriate tune, selects a girl, lays the cushion at 
her feet, and both kneel upon it and kiss, the fiddler making 
an extraordinary squeal during the operation. The girl then 
takes the cushion to another young man, who kisses her as 
before, and leaves her free to "link" with the first, and march 
round the room. This is repeated till the whole party is 
brought in, when they all form a circle, and "kiss out in the 
same manner, sometimes varying it by the kissers sitting on 
two chairs, back to back, in the middle of the ring, and 
kissing over their shoulders a trying process to bashful youth 
of either sex. 
Cuttie, S, any thing short as a spoon, pipe, etc. 

" Better sup wi' a cuttie nor want a speun." Proverb. 
" Aul' Simon sat luntin' his cuttie, 
An' lowsin' his buttons for bed." 

Andrew Scott. Simon and Janet. 


Dadder, C, (Dodder in Furness, etc.) tremble, shiver. 

I once heard a Cumberland youth, at a supper table, say, 
indicating a "shape" of jelly, "I'll tak sum o' that dadderiri 


Badge, C, to plod along heavily. 

' ' Then dadged we to the bog owre meedows dree, 
To plet a sword and seevy cap for thee." 

Relph. Cursty and Peggy. 

Daft, S and C, foolish, silly. 

"Glower't at me as he'd been daft." 

Song The carl cam ower the craft. 
"Ses I, 'A was niver larn't sec daftness .' " 

Rev. T. Clarke. Johnny Shippard. 

Daized, C, stupified, benumbed. 

"Theer war we stannin', dodderin' an' <//zV wi' cauld, as 
neer deead as macks nea matter." 

Betty Yewdale. T' terrible Knitters i' Dent. 

Dark, C, to lurk, keep unseen, 

' ' On her leanly bed she toss'd her, 
Darkiri till the tempest ceas'd." 

Stagg. The Return. 

Darrak, C, dayVwork. 

' ' An' as for a darrak in barn or in meedow, 
Whee match'd me when just i' my prime. " 

Anderson. Twee auld Men. 

Dicht, S, wipe, or cleanse. 

"An' aye she dichtit her father's bluidy wounds, 
When the blude ran reid as wine." 

Ballad The Douglas Tragedy. 

Doff, C, (do off, old English) undress, strip. 

" The bridesmaids o' wi' fusslin care 
The bride, hauf-yieldin', doff Y." 

Stagg. The Bridewain. 

Don, C, (do on, old English) to dress. 

/ "And up he rose, and he donrid on his clothes, 
And he d'upp'd the chamber door." 

" He's nicer in his war-day duds 

Nor udders dotft i' aw their best." 

Anderson. Geordie Gill. 


Donk, C, damp. 

"It donks an' dozzles an' does, but niver cums iv any girt 
pell." A Boatman, on the Ullswater weather. 

Dool, S, sadness. 

" Lang may I weep in dool an' sorrow." 

Hamilton. The Braes o' Yarrow. 

Douce, S and C, respectable, well-behaved, 

' ' An' now I'm grown sae cursed douce, 
I pray and ponder but the house. " 


"The douce dapper lanleady criet ' Eat, an' be welcome.' " 
Anderson. The Bleckell Murry-Neet. 

Doucht, S, could ; Dowe in the past tense. 

" They held the nose an' crook't the mou', 
An' doucht na bide the smell." 

Hogg. The Witch o' Fife. 

Dour, S, hard, stern. 

" I'll set her up on yon crab-tree, 
It's sour an' dour, an' so is she." 

Old Rhyme. 

Dow, S, can, is able. 

"Gin we canna do as we wad, we maun do as we dowe." 

Dowly, C, melancholy, dismal. 

"When we turn't round Windermere Walter heead, t' 
waves blash't seea dowly 'at we war fairly heart-brossen." 

Betty Yevadale. T' terrible Knitters i' Dent. 

Dree, S, suffer ; C, slow, lingering, also to move slowly. 
"Dree out the inch when ye've tholed the span." Proverb. 
" Six dree year hed Susan languish'd 
Sen her Walter went away. " 

Stagg. The Return. 
Drook, S, drench. 

' ' An' aye she took the tither sook 
To drook the stoury tow. " 

Song The weary pun' o' tow. 

Drouthy, S, thirsty. 

" The well o' life is dribbling dry, 
An' drouthy, drouthy's kimmer an' I." 

Song My Kimmer and I. 


Eerie, S, fearful, or calculated to cause superstitious fear or 

"Gloomy, gloomy was the nicht, 
An' eerie was the way." 

Old Ballad Young Tamlane. 
Egg, or Egg on, C, incite, urge. 

"He was a rare ^-battle." Dickinson. Lamplugh Club. 
Eldritch, S, unearthly. 

" Quhan words he found, their eldritch sound 
Was like the norlan' blast." 

Dr. Jamieson. The Water Kelpie. 


Fash, S and C, trouble, annoy, bother (noun and verb). 
"Ye' re sail fashed haudin' naething together." Proverb. 
"Oald clish ma clash, thou's nowt but/as&-~ 
Ga heam to bed, 'Od dye thee !" 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 
Feal, S, comfortable. 

"Frae tap to tae that deeds me weel, 
An' haps me feat an' warm at e'en. " 

Burns. My Spinning Wheel. 

Feck, S, a considerable quantity or number, most part. 
" Wae sucks for him that has nzefeck o' 't." 

Ferguson. Gude Braid Claith. 
Feckless, S and C, feeble, useless. 

"feckless fowk are aye fain." Proverb. 
"A thowte A sud no'but meeak a varra feckless fend, if A 
was witch'd seek a parlish lang way fray heeam. " 

Rev. T. Clarke. Johnny Shippard. 

Fells, C, hills. 

"If there were neafetts there Wad be nea deals." Proverb. 

Few, C. This word is hardly translatable, but means to set 
about a task in a manner likely to accomplish it. 

" I't' chimla neuk some gay gud han's, 

An' gaily ill to slocken, 
Set tea wi' porringers an' pans, 
An'y^Yweel to get drucken." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 

Fewsome, C, capable-looking, workman-like. 

" She warm'd him up some keal, 
An' Ralph dud mak a varra fewsome meal." 

Graham. Gwordie and Will. 

Flaitch, C, Fleech, S, coax. Sometimes used as a noun, 

" He's a favcfaitch when he wants owte." Said of me. 

" Shey?m:/&Vhim fairly to his bed 
By ca'in' him her burdie." 

Christ's Kirk on the Green. 

Flaucht, S, flash. 

" Ae faz-flaucht darted" through the rain, 
Where a' was dark afore." 

Kirkpatrick Sharp. Murder of Carlaverock. 

Flay, C, Fley, S, to frighten. 

"Fleyirt a bird 's no the gate to grip it." Proverb. 

This word has its substantive form mflayan 
A blue-devilled fellow at Coniston said he could not stay in 
his house because there was flayan in it. "Ey," said his 
mother, " If there isn't there will be there 'ill be empty cup- 
boards, ther needn't be wtirjlayan nor that ! " 

Fletherin, S, flattering. 

"Fletherin fowk's maistly fause fowk." Proverb. 

Flipe, C, a hat rim. 

A retired sea-captain at Whitehaven used to be called 
"Flipy Fisher," on account of his broad brim. 

1 76 

Flyte, S and C, scold. 

' ' An' gin she tak' the thing amiss, 
E'en let her flyte her fill, Jo." 

Song Steer her up. 

Font, C, fond, foolishly attached, "spooney." 

" Whey, Gworge, thou's owder feul or font, 
To think o' sec a frow." 

Anderson. Betty Brown. 

Foorsett, C, to get in front of and face, to intercept. 

A ghost used to haunt the "Crossgates" in Lamplugh, of 
which it was said, " Whativer way folk turns itfoorsetts them.'' 

Footh and Foothy, S and C, abundance, well provided, 
plentifully stocked. 

" He's brought footh o' foreign trash, 
An' dibbled it in our yairdie." 

Song The wee wee German Lairdie. 
"It's 2t,foothy hoose is Betty Turnbull's." 

Said by old Cuddy Wilson at Workington. 

Foregather, S, meet 

" To bear the milk-bowie nae pain was to me, 
When I at the ^ms^ivci foregathered wi' thee." 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 

Forfouchten, S, over fatigued, exhausted. 

" I'm but like a. forfouchten hound 

Has been fechtin' in a dirty syke. " 

Ballad Hobbie Noble. 

Fratch, C, quarrel. 

"He's just &fratchiri, feightin' feul." 

Anderson. Dick Watters. 

Fusionless, S, pithless, insipid. 

"God !' the aul' doited body's as fusionless as a docken !" 
Michael Scott. Tom Cringle's Log. 


Ga, C ; Gang, S and C, go. 

" V\\gang nae mair to yon toon." 

Burns. Song. 


Gangrel, S, vagrant. 

' ' A merry core 
O' randy gangrel bodies. " 

Burns. The Jolly Beggars. 

Gar, S, make, compel. 

"The first Scots kirk that they cam' to 

They garr't the bells be rung ; 
The next Scots kirk that they cam* to 
They garr't the mass be sung." 

Ballad The Gay Goss-hawk. 

Gay, C ; Gey, S, (adverb form, Gaily) tolerable, considerable. 
"Here's &gay canny mwornin'." A common salutation. 
"No verra, but <?)/." By-saying. 

" Hoo irr ye preuvin ?" " Gaily, gaily, gangin' aboot ! " 
A common salutation and reply. 

Geal, C, split, rend, ache severely as from cold. 

" I've an oald teuth, when t' coald gits tull't, it maks o' ge&l 
agean." Said to a Doctor. 

Gear, S and C, wealth, substance. 

" A gleib o' Ian' a claut o' gear 

Was left me by my auntie, Tarn." 

Burns. Ane an' twenty, Tarn. 
" Braff-side lairds bang't aw the rest 
For braggin' o' their gear." 

Anderson. Bleckell Murry-Neet. 

Ged, S, the pike. 

" Now safe the stately saumon sail, 
An' trouts bedropp'd wi' crimson hail, 
An' eels weel kenn'd for souple tail, 
An' geds for greed. " 

Burns. Tarn Samson. 

Gezlin, C and S, goslin, young goose. 

" Peat' lass, wid her yallow muffs, 
Steu'd kaakin like a gezlin. " 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 
"If I canna keep geese I'll keep gezlins. " Proverb. 

1 7 8 

Ghem, ga way tull't, C, game, go to it ; a hunting phrase ; 
used proverbially to signify any attractive fun or quarreling. 
" There was a fine see howe an' ghem ga way tulPt." 
Gin, S, if. 

" Gin a body meet a body." 

Song Coming through the Rye. 
Gledge, S, look slyly. 

"Mr. Forret, alias Gledgin Gibbie, had borne the brunt of 
incensed kirk-sessions before that time. 

Hogg. Tibbie Hyslop. 
Glent, S and C, gleam. 

" Where flowers an' go wans wont to glent, 
I' bonnie blinks beside the bent. " 

Ferguson. Auld Reekie. 
Gliff, C and S, glimpse. 

" Here, here it was (a wae leet on the pleace) 
'At furst I gat z.glrff V Betty's feace." 

Relph. Harvest. 
Glime, C, look sideways. 

" 'Twad mak a deid man laugh to see 
Them glime at yen anudder. " 

Anderson. The Village Gang. 
Gloamin', S, twilight. 

"Theghamin' grey out owre the welkin keeks." 

Ferguson. The Farmer's Ingle. 
Gloom, S, frown. 

" Still away his heid was shyin', 
Gloomin' like a boxing bull. " 

John Johnston. Dear Meal Johnnie. 
Glower, S and C, stare. 

"He glower 1 1 at the mune till he fell i' the midden." 

"What's VeglowerM at? Does t'e see any cat' horns?" 

Glump, C, sulk. 

" Neist time we met he glum ft an' glower't 
An' leukt anudder way." 

Anderson. The lass abeun thirty. 


God speed, C, a small wooden partition or screen placed 
within the house door, when it opens directly upon the 
sitting room. It has probably been called so from 
departing guests being wished "God Speed" beside it. 
I first heard the word at Harrington, from a humourist 
who asked a group of neighbours if they'd seen Tommy 
Wilson, who lived next door to him, adding, "If ye sud 
see him, tell him 'at his barns an' mine hev been feightin' 
till they've knock'd t' God-speed doon." The fun of this 
lay in the well known fact that both were childless. 

Gorb, C, an unfledged bird. 

"Geap, garble, an' thou'll git a wurm." Proverb. 
Gowk, S and C, cuckoo, fool. 

' ' Ye breed o' t\iegowk, ye've nae rhyme but ane. " Proverb. 
"'Bout kings and councils gowks mak fratch." 

Anderson. Gud strang yell. 
Gowl, C, to weep vociferously, to howl. 

" It grean't, an' \i gcrwVt, an' it freetent fwoke sair." 

Dickinson. Scallow-Beck Boggle. 

Gradely, C, a Lancashire and Cheshire word, often used in 
Cumberland, signifying proper or correct. I have over- 
heard myself, in contravention of the proverb, spoken of 
as "a varra gradely man" in the lake district. 

Grank, C, to covet querulously. 

" Hout man ! what signifies repinin', 
Or grankin\ snifterin', twistin', twinin'." 

Stdgg- New Year's Epistle. 
Greet, S and C, weep. 

"It's nae mair to see a woman greet than to see a goose 
gang barefit." Proverb. 

"When we'd hed our belly full o' greetm' we gat up, an' feel't 
better for't." Betty Yewdale. T' terrible Knitters i' Dent. 

Greg, C, tantalize. 

" It does greg yan to hear a hunt yan cannot see." 

Said by a veteran hunter whose sight was failing. 

Gruesome, S, making the flesh creep with disgust or hotror. 

" An' though she wore a human face, 

It was a grttesome sight to see." 

Hogg. The Spirit of the Glen. 


Gud his-sel', C, felicitate, or gratify himself. 

" Gi'e me anudder kiss." "Nay, thou mun gudthyseV wid 
what thou's gitten ! thou's git nea mair to-neet." 

An over-heard conversation. 

Guff, S and C, a silly fellow. 

" When see-like guffs leame decent fwoke, 
It's time some laws sud alter." 

Anderson. The Village Gang. 

Gumption, C, tact, cleverness. 

" Hed I thy gumption or thy gift o' gob." 

Graham. Geordie and Will. 

Gyversome, C, voracious, ravenous. 

"T' mair ye give till greedy fwoke t' mair gyversome they 
growe. " Proverb. 

Hag, C, to cut with an axe. 

"He was seun back, wid his axe ower his shooder, an' 
begon to hag his way through t' deurr." 

Dickinson. Lamplugh Club. 
Hag-worm, C, the viper. 

" Theear was beears, an' lions, an' tigers . . . an' girt 
yedtheran hag-werms, fower or five yerds lang. " 

RC.V. 1 . Clarke. Johnny Shippard. 
Hake, C, a riotous festivity, tumult. 

" They drank the yell up ivery drop, 
Wid nowder hake nor quarrel. " 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 
Ham-sam, C, mingled promiscuously. 

" Five or six gat on to t 1 bed, 
An' sat ham-sam togidder." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot 

Hank, S and C, skein of thread or yam ; also a loop. 
" O though thy hair were hanks o' gowd, 
An' thy lips were droppin' hinnie." 

Song The Waukrife Minnie. 
" And when the worsted hanks she wound, 
Her skill was further proved." 

S. Bamford. My Wynder. 

Hantle, S and C, a considerable number or quantity. 

Part of the Rev. Walter Dunlop's congregation at Dumfries 
having joined the Baptists, he alluded to the circumstance in 
the pulpit, thus "I thocht till ha'e gethered under my wings, 
as a hen gethereth her chickens, but a hantle o' ye ha'e turn't 
oot to be deuks, an' ta'en to the water." 

" I've been a sad deevil, an' spent gowd i' gowpens, 
But still I've a hantle left yet." 

Anderson. Twee Auld Men. 

Hap, S and C, cover. 

"A nee as gude 
As ever happit flesh an' blude. " 

Ferguson. My Aul' Breeks. 

Haver, (pron. Hawer) C, oats, oaten. 

" Our Ellik likes fat bacon weel, 
A haver bannock pleases Dick." 

Anderson. Gud strang Yell. 

Hay-bay, C, uproar. 

" Wi' whiskey they weetit their wizzens, 
An' seun a sad hay -bay began." 

Anderson. The Clay Daubin'. 

Heartsome, S and C, cheerful, pleasant 

" Let's creep ower the heartsome turf ingle, 
An' laugh the wild winter away." 

Anderson. The days that are gane. 

Heeze, S, hoist, elevate. 

" Thae bonnie bairn time Heaven has sent 
Still higher may it heeze ye." 

Burns. A Dream. 

Heids an' thraws, S, lying in irregular positions in bed or 


"Lie heids ari thraws like Jock an' his mither." Proverb. 
Herdwick, C, probably formed like bailiwick, etc., and first 
applied to the portion of hill-pasture assigned to the herds 
of each dale farm ; now used to distinguish the hardy, 
active breed of sheep grazed upon the herdwicks. 
"He breaks bands like a herd-wick tip" is a proverbial 
saying I have heard applied to a rustic scape-grace. 


Herk, S, whisper. 

"When a Scotchman wants you to listen he says 'speak,' 
and when he wants you to whisper he says 'kerkS " Anon. 

Hirple, S and C, limp, walk lamely. 

"The hares were hirpiin doon the furs." 

Burns. The Holy Fair. 
"Jack Mar, the hirpiin piper's son, 
Can bang them o' at leein'." 

Anderson. The Village Gang. 

Hoaf-thick, C, half-wit, thick-head. 

" Than Watty Ferguson, provwok't 
To hear this hoaf -thick rattle." 

Stagg. The Bridewain. 
Hoddingly, C, persistently. 

' ' Does your pain come and go ? " "It nayder cums ner ga's ; 
it's theear hoddinqly.' 1 '' Said to a Doctor. 

Hooal't, or Whoal't, C, holed, "bagged," applied to 

anything being secured, thus 

At a school treat in High Furness I was "scrambling" 
comfits, and having filled a paper packet with gravel, and 
thrown it up, it was caught by a great hulking fellow, who 
thrust it into his pocket, exclaiming, "I've hooaft that an'." 
His face, when his attention was directed to the contents of 
his prize, was a sight. 

Hosteler, Old S, keeper of an inn or hostel. 
' ' Syne pay him on a gantree, 
As hosteler wives should do." 

Old Song The Maltman. 
Hork, S, to burrow. 

' ' The mouse is a wee merrie beastie ; 
The mowdie horks wantin' the een." 

Old Song Brose and Butter. 
Hound-trail or dog trail, C, a drag hunt. 

"Whist's as much afooar lant (loo) as a fox-hunt's afooar 
a dog-trail.'''' Heard at a Merry-Night. 

How, S and C, hollow, empty. 

" A house looks how without a wife." 

Anderson. Tib and her Maister. 

Howk, S and C, excavate. 

" She has howkit a hole baith deep and wide, 
She has putten them in baith side by side." 

Old Ballad The Cruel Mother 

How-strowe, C, in confusion. 

"Thy plew gear's liggin' how-strmue, 

An' somebody's stown thee thy cou'ter." 

Mark Lonsdale. Johnnie. 

Hugger-mugger, C, huddled up, out of order or system. 
"Thus in hugger-mugger make a marriage." 


Most philologists hold that this word signifies private or 
surreptitious ; but in Cumberland, where it is still in common 
use, the sense is as above. 

Huller't, C, coagulated or clotted ^applied to blood. 

I have heard of an up and down fight in a public-house, 
where "T" huller't'ble.uA. laid an inch thick on t' flooer." 

Ilka, or Ilk, S, each. 

"Ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drop o' dew." 

Proverb, and Song by y. Ballantyne. 

Intak, C, a piece of land taken in from the common. 

"T' intakes t' best o' t' grand." Said by a Dale-farmer. 
Iverly, C, everly, continuously. 

"How often do you take your ale?" "Yall? I tak it 
iverly /" li Iverly . ? " " Ey, ebben endways away !" 

Part of a professional conversation. 


Jannic, C, a Lancashire word, signifying fair or honest. 
"Thoo hes ower mickle jaw to bejannic." 

Said to a voluble Auctioneer. 
Jink, S, to escape suddenly, a rapid evasion. 

"Our billie's'gi'en us a' \hejink, 

An' owre the sea." 


Job-jurnal, C, a toy on the principle of a humming top, but 
made with a shouldered stick passed through a perforated 
nut-shell and an apple, or failing that, a potato stuck 
upon the lower end, to be spun by pulling a string 
wrapped upon the shaft within the shell. In Furness 
this name is applied to the pig-nut, which in central 
Cumberland is called a yowie-yorlin, and in Dumfries- 
shire a hornick. 

Joggle, C, to shake sharply, or violently. 

" He dreav us ower rwoads 'at varra t&i joggled us to bits." 
Said by an old lady at Loweswater. 

Jook, S, to shrink, or dip the head to elude observation or 

"It's pa.stjooh'ng when the heid's off." Proverb. 


Kail, S; Keal, C, broth so called from a frequent ingredient. 
" He gat his kail in a riven dish." Proverb. 
" Swoaps o' drink an' gud lythe keale 

Cheer up each day." 
Stagg. The New Year's Epistle. 

Kaim't, C, literally crooked, but used to signify cross, or 


" Aa boddert my brain thinkan some on them ower, 
An' than set to wark an' wreatt doon three or fower 
O't' ' kaymtestzx? t' creuktest, like 'garrak' an' 'dyke-stower,' 
Sek like as we use in oald Cummerlan'." 
Dickinson. The words of oald Cummerlan'. 

Keav, C, to dance awkwardly, throwing the legs clumsily 

"That barn, says Hyne, i' Palmer' toft, 
'111 dea reet weel to keduv in." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 

Keek, S and C, to peep. 

"He that keeks' through a keyhole may see what will vex 
him." Proverb. 

" She conquers mair nor Bonnypart 
Whene'er she keeks aroun'." 

Anderson. The Thursby Witch. 

Ken, S and C, know. 

" Ken yersel and yere neighbours 'ill no mis-ken ye." 


Kirk-garth, C, church-yard. 

"They tak meear pastime e what they see i' th' kirk-garth 
nor what they hear i' th' kirk." Mrs. Wheeler. Dialogues. 

Kit, C, a small tub or bucket. 

" A riddlin' a riddlin', an oald wife striddlin', 
A kit full o' cunning things in a coald morning." 

An ancient conundrum. 

Kimmer, S, a familiar designation for woman something like 
gossip. The young women who assist at christenings are 
called " maiden kimmers. " 

" How do ye, kimmer? 

An' how do ye thrive 
An' how monie bairns ha'e ye ? 
Kimmer! I ha'e five." 

Song A' Noddin'. 
Knowe, S, knoll, hillock. 

" His gear may buy him glens an' knowes." 

Burns. To Daunton me. 


Lafter, C, a brood of chickens, etc. ; also a setting of eggs. 
" I hevn't a ne'bour 'ill lend me a lafter of eggs." 

Said by a fanner's wife. 
Laik, C, play. 

" But laiks at wate-not-whats within 
O' Sunday efterneun. " 

Relph. After Horace. 

Laikins, C, playthings, toys. 

" Here's babby-fatfa'ns rowth o' spice, 
On sto's an' stands extended." 

Stagg. Rosley Fair. 

Lait, C, seek. 

" Lads, i' t' dark, meade rampin' wark 
Or cloaks an' clogs were laitit." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 

1 86 

Lai, C, (in the northern and southern parts, Lile) little. 

"I lal thowte fasts sec fearful things to bide." 

Relph. St. Agnes' Fast. 

Lap, C, wrap. 

" Lafit my cranky neckcloth round his heid." 

Graham. Gwordie and Will. 

Lave, S, the rest, remainder. 

" When a' the lave gang to their bed, 
I wander dowie up the glen." 

Song Heelan' Harry. 

Lawin, S, a public house reckoning. 

' ' Gude wife, count the lawin, 
An' bring a drappie mair." 

Burns. Song. 

Leal, or Leil, S, true, pure, loyal. 

" O gi'e me a token o' love, sweet May 
A leil love-token true." 

A. Cunningham. The Mermaid. 

Leane, your leane, his leane, etc., S and C, lone, solitary. 

" An' when, sweet lassie, you're ye're leane, 
This heart o' mine wad joy to know." 

Miss Blamire. The Toiling Day. 

Leath, C, a barn. 

" Why ne had thou put the capel in the lathe." 

Chaucer. The Reese's Tale. 

Ley, C, a scythe. 

" Clogs, splinter new, bass-boddom'd chairs, 
An' /isa-stanes for new /eases." 

Stagg. Rosley Fair. 

Lichtly, S, to make light of. 

" The lass that lichtlies may lament." Proverb. 

i8 7 

Lilt, S and C, a lively tune or song ; or, as a verb, to sing 

" Now haste ye turn King David ower, 
An' lilt wi' holy clangour. " 


It means also to rise on the toes in walking. Diomed's 
walk had a /*'// in it as described by Ulysses, thus 

' ' I ken the manner of his gait, 
He rises on the toe : that spirit of his 
In aspiration lifts him from the earth." 

Shakspeare. Troilus and Cressida. 

Lippen, S, to trust. 

" Ye'll deceive nane but them that lippen to ye." Proverb. 
Lirk, S and C, a wrinkle or fold. 

"Sup sum poddish, an' tak' t' lirks oot o' thy skin." 

Said to a rustic convalescent. 

Lish, C, active. 

"When I was a lish laughing lass o' sixteen." 

Anderson. Auld Robby Miller. 

Loan, S ; Lonning, C, lane. 

" The kye stood rowtin' in the loan." 

Burns. The Twa Dogs. 
" The lads an' the lasses i't' lonning 

Wer 5 pairin' like sparrows i't' spring." 

Anon. Raffles Merry-Neet. 
Lock, C, a number or quantity. 

"A gay lock o' fwoke hed gedder't up i' time to gang tillt' 
kurk, an' away they struttit." Dickinson. Lamplugh Club. 

Lofe, C, a chance of anything, an opportunity. 

"Yance I hed t' lofe an' I'd luck to say no, an' I niver hed 
t' lofe agean." Said by an elderly spinster. 

Lonter, C, lounge, or loiter. 

"Lonterirf fwoke's ola's lazy fwoke." Proverb. 

Loon, S, rogue. 

" I tint my curch an' baith my shoon ; 
Ah ! Duncan, ye' re an unco loon." 

Duncan Gray Old Version. 

1 88 

Loot, S, stop. 

" He lootil doon her lips to kiss, 

O kiss foreboding woe. " 
C. K. Sharpe. The Murder of Carlaverock. 

Lowe, S and C, a flame. 

" To touch the glass her hand hes touch'd 
It sets them in a lowe." 

Anderson. The Thursby Witch. 

Lown, or Lownd, S and C, calm, still. 

' ' Your chamber's very dark, fair maid, 
The nichte is wondrous /own." 

Ballad Sir Roland. 

Lowp, S and C, leap. 

" Lffwp off the steed, says false Sir John, 
Yere bridal bed ye see." 

Ballad May C clean. 
" My heart keeps such a rout, 
It lowps an' lowps as if it wad lowp out. " 

Ewan Clark. Costard's Complaint. 

Lowpy-back, C, leap-frog. 

" Ye've been laikin at lawpy-back o' t' rwoad heam." 

Part of a scolding. 

Lugs, S and C, ears. 

"I'll lay my lugs in Pindus' spring, 
And invocate Apollo." 


" Kursty, souple gammerstang, 
Ned Wilson brong his lug a whang. " 

Anderson. The Worton Wedding. 

Lum, S, chimney. 

"Sic reek as is therein maun come out at the turn's top." 


Laigh, S, low. 

" She lookit hiche to the bodynge hill, 
An' laighe to the darklynge deane." 

Telfer. The Gloamin' Bucht. 

1 89 


Maddle, or Maffle, C, to talk or act in a silly manner. 
"O, mafflin Gwordie, t'ou's been feulish lang." 

Graham. Gwordie and Will. 

Maizelt, or Maiz't, C, stupified. 

"We war fairly maizeF t vri t' cald." 

Betty Yewdale. T terrible Knitters i' Dent. 
"Whyte maidd-w? loungin' on i' th' neuk." 

Stagg. Auld Lang Syne. 

Maizlin, C, a simpleton. 

" Banton lads grew parfet guffs, 
An' Thursby lasses maizlins." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot 

Mak, C, sort, kind. 

" It taks o' maks to mak ivery mak." 

Rev. T. Clarke. Johnny Shippard. 

Map'ment, C, imbecility ; compounded of mope and ment, 

like manage-ment, etc. 

"He toked for iver sa lang, but he toked a deal o' maap- 
ment." Ibid. 

Mattie, C, the mark at quoits or pitch and toss. Shifting his 
mattie is proverbially used for shifting position or changing 
policy or course. 

Maukin, S, the hare. 

" The fuddlin' bodies nowadays 
Rin maukin-msA i' Bacchus praise." 

Ferguson. Caller Water. 

Maunder, S and C, to think, talk, or act dreamily. 
" Aw wish this wanderin' wark were o'er, 
This maunderir? to and fro." 

Edwin Waugh. Sweetheartin' Gate. 

Meat-heal, C, very able to eat. 

" He's beath meat-ht&l an' drink heal. Ther' can't be 
mickle t' matter wid him." Said of a Hypochondriac. 

i go 

Mell, C, meddle. 

" Gangin' frae house to house hearin' news an' mellin e ther 
nebbors." Mrs. Wheeler. Dialogues. 

Mell, S, a mallet ; the prize that used to be given to the last in 
a race. ' ' Winning the Melf ' in any contest is figuratively 
equivalent to taking the wooden spoon at the Cambridge 
examinations for honours. 

Mense, S and C, propriety, creditable behaviour. 
"I've seav't beath my meat an' my mense." 

Proverb, used when proffered hospitality is declined. 

Messan, S and C, a small dog of indefinite breed. 

"We hounds, slew the hare, quo' the bleer'd messan." 

"A little black messet danced sae like old Jenny." 

Miss Blamire. Sec a Durdum. 

Mirk, S, dark. 

" It fell about the Martinmas, 

When nichts were lang an' mirk." 

Old Ballad The Wife of Usher's Well. 

Mischanter, S and C, misadventure. 

"Thou'rt welcome, wean, mischanter fa' me." 


Mittens, S and C, gloves. 

" He coft me a rokelay o' blue, 

An' a pair o' mittens o' green." 

Macneil. I lo'e ne'er a laddie but ane. 
" Twee yards o' red ribbon to wear for his seake, 
Forbye ledder mittens he bowte me." 

Anderson. First Luive. 

Mowdie, S ; Mowdk-warp, C, the mole. 

" The mowdte powler't oot o' the yirth, 
An' kyss't the synger's feet." 

Telfer. The Gloaming Bucht. 

"An' teeak us intil lile hooals under t' grund, ameeast like 
mffwdie-warps.'" Rev. T. Clarke. Johnny Shippard. 

Mud, C, the past tense of must. 

" He thowte 'at he mud treat ye." 

Miss Blamire. The Meeting. 
Mutch, C, a woman's cap. 

' ' She aff wi' her apron, put on a silk goon, 
A mutch wi' reed ribbons, an' cam' awa' doon." 

Lady Nairn. The Laird o' Cockpen. 


Nab, C, a promontory in a lake. 

"It's o' nabs an' neuks is Windermer' Watter." 

Said by a Coniston Man. 

Neb, S and C, nose, beak. 

" Gae tak this bonnie neb o' mine, 

That picks amang the corn, 
An' gi'e't to the Duke o' Hamilton, 
To be a touting horn." 

Old Song Robin Redbreast's Testament. 

Neaf, C, the nave of a wheel. 

"T' fells spreead out fray a centre like t' spooaks of a wheel 
fray t' neaf." A Langdale statesman. 

Neif, or Neive, S and C, the hand, or fist. 

" Sweet knight I kiss thy neif." 

Shakspeare. King Henry IV. 

"What's a gowpen o' glaur? It's just twa neive fu's o' 
clarts !" Wilson. Noctes Ambrosianae. 

Nick't i' t' heid, C, non compos mentis. 

"Toakin sike mafflement ! Ye mun be nicKt z' t heead." 
A Coniston landlady to a chattering guest. 
No'but, C, nothing but, only. 

" He's but a simplish sooart of a body, 
'At thinks there's ncfbutys. kind o' shoddy." 

W. Bowness. Brough Hill Fair. 

Nowte 'at dowe, C, nothing of ability, fit for nothing. 
" In o' her flegmagaries donn'd 

What is she ? nowte 'at dowe ! " 

Anderson. Betty Brown. 



Oomer, C, shade. 

"Howay wi' the', an' lig down i' t' owmer o' t' trees till 
I've time ut tak' the' afooar Mr. Machell. " 

Said by a farmer at Colton to an idle servant. 

Oald-folk's neet, C, an assembly for feasting, dancing, and 
card-playing, held at the rural public houses ; once, 
probably, confined to married people, but now open to, 
and attended by, young and old. 


Paddock rud, or rid, or ridding, C, frog-spawn. 

" Auld Grizzy the witch, as some fwoke say, 
Maks paddock-rud ointment for sair e'en." 

Anderson. The Witch Wife. 

Pang, C and S, to cram. 

" An' some there wer could scarcely speak, 
Their thropples wer sz.e.pang't." 

Stagg. The Bridewain. 
" It kindles wit, it waukens lair, 
It pangs us fu' o' knowledge." 

Burns. The Holy Fair. 

Parlish, C, remarkable, worth speaking of. 

" hri parlish pranks 'mang Silloth banks 
They hed as they were comin'." 

Stagg. The Bridewain. 
" A bump as big as a young cockerel's stone, 
&. parlous knock." 

SJiakspeare. Romeo and Juliet. 

Said to be a corruption of perilous, which is certainly not 
its meaning in Cumberland. 

Pash, C, to dash or thrust down forcibly. 

"Barne ! I pasKt them doon." Said by Wm. Jackson to 
a neighbour's daughter after his first victory at the Flan 

Pauchtie, S, proud, supercilious. 

' ' Pauchtie damsels, bred at courts, 
Wha thraw the mou' an' tak' the dorts. " 

Ferguson. The Gowdspink. 

Pawkie, Sv sly. 

" A thief sae pawkie is my Jean." 


Peerie, S, a peg-top. In Cumberland called a Cas'ley. 
" He sleeps as soon' as omefleerie." Common saying. 

Phraise, C, smooth or fondling talk. 

" He's ta : en her in his armes twa, 
Wi' monie a kiss an' phraise" 

Ballad Young Huntin. 

Pigs, S, pots, crockery. 

" Where the//f'j brocken there let the sherds lie." 


Plack, S, the smallest coin of the old Scottish currency. 
" He'll never mak Mvsplack a bawbee. "Proverb. 

Pleen, C, complain. 

" Thou's spoil't for o' manner o' wark, 
Thou no'but sits peghan an' pleenan. " 

Mark Lonsdale. Love in Cumberland. 

Plumb, C, (in Furness, etc., pron. Plowmb) perpendicular. 

The old landlady at the boat house on Ennerdale water said 
of a neighbouring doctor who had visited her, and .who carries 
his head well back, "He was mair nor 

Poap, C, to walk aimlessly. 

" 'Sum poapan aboot as if they'd be hoaf dazed." 

Rev. T. Clarke. T Reysh Beearin'. 

Powe, S, head, poll. 

" There's little wit within his powe 
That lichts a candle at the lowe." 



Free, S, to taste. 

" An' aye he preed the lassie's mou' 
As he gaed but an' ben, O." 

Old Song. 

"I preed her mou'." The Scotch think this phrase a 
poetical way of saying "I kissed her." Its literal translation 
into common English, "I tasted her mouth," doesn't sound 
like poetry ; while its Cumbrian form, "I teastit her feace," 
sounds like anything rather than poetry ; and their different 
versions of the same phrase illustrate rather happily the differ- 
ence of character on the two sides of the Border. 

Proddle, C, poke, or stir up. 

11 Proddlin 1 up the smudderin' embers." 

Pubble, C, plump. 

"At Michaelmas a pubble goose at Kersmas, standin' pie." 

Old Saying. 
Putten down, C, put to death. 

' ' That nane may ken that ye are clerks, 
Till ye be putten down.' 1 '' 

Ballad The Clerk's Twa Sons. 
Puzzen, C, poison. 

" The doctor he's a parfit plague, 
An' hauf the parish puzzens." 

Anderson. The Village Gang. 


Rackups, C, a game at marbles where the loser has to place 
his knuckles on one side of a hole to be "fired" at with 
the taws of the winners. "He mun stand his rackupf 
is a proverb implying the necessity of accepting the 
consequences of misconduct, defeat, or miscarriage of 
Rakin, C, wandering far or wildly. 

' ' They ga rakin aboot widoot ayder errand or aim. " 

Said of pedestrian tourists by a dalesman. 

Rantin', Ranty, S and C, wild, riotous. 

" The rantirf dog the daidie o' t'." 

Burns. Song. 

Ratch, C, to search vigorously, to ransack. 
" Ratch as ye will, ye'll mak nowte out." 

Said to hunters in a wood. 

Reek, S, smoke. 

"The death o' deevils, smoor'd in brimstone reek." 

Burns. The Twa Brigs. 

Riggin, S, the roof (probably from Ridging primarily). 

' ' Ane may like the kirk weel aneuch without aye riding 
on the riygiif o' 't." Proverb. 

Rooers, C, (or rather Fumess and Westmorland) oars. 

"Why do you call them rooers?" "'Coase they irr rooers." 
"They call them oars elsewhere." '"They may co' them 
what they will, but if they roo wi' them, they're rooers." 

Conversation on Esthwaite lake. 

Roose, S, praise, exalt. 

" Roose the ford as ye find it." Proverb. 

Rowp, S, auction ; Rowp-crier, auctioneer. 
" I canna pay't an' ye rowp me at the cross." 

Said by a hopeless debtor. 

Rowth, S, abundance. 

"Rich fouk ha'e rowth o' frien's." Proverb. 

Rowe, S, roll. 

" Where Cart rins rowii? to the sea." 

Burns. The Gallant Weaver. 


Sackless, C, silly (originally, innocent). 

" Our parson sweers a bonnie stick 
Amang thur sackless asses. " 

Anderson. The Village Gang. 

Sairy, C, sorry. 

" A sairy wife I trowe she'd mak 
'At cudn't muck a byre." 

Ibid. Betty Brown. 

Sark, C and S, shirt (male or female). 

" She won't mend a sark, but reads novels, proud brat." 

Ibid. Elizabeth's Burthday. 
" Our women are nowadays a' grown sae braw, 
Ilk maun ha'e a sark, an' some maun ha'e twa." 

Ross. The wee pickle tow. 

Sarra, C, serve. 

" The witch wife begg'd i' our back-side, 
An' went unsarrdd away i' the pet." 

Anderson. The Witch Wife. 

Sauch, S, willow. 

" Whereby the glancing waves o' Clyde 
Through sauchs an' hangin' hazels glide." 

Old Song Bothwell Bank. 

Scraffle, C, scramble. 

"We scraffdt on i' this fashion, an' it was quite dark 
afooar we gat till Ammelside yatt." 

Betty Yewdale. T' terrible Knitters i' Dent. 

Screes, C, sloping banks of fragmentary stone under precipices. 
" Whoariver there's screes 
There's mair steans nor trees." 

Old Rhymes. 

Scrimp, S, pinch, reduce. 

" For lack o' thee I scrimp my glass." 

Burns. On a Bank Note. 

Scrowe, S and C, a lot of children, etc. rough or numerous. 

"There's sic a scrowe o' Irishmen come ower frae Skin- 
burness." Said at Annan. 

Scunner, S, shuddering disgust noun and verb. 
" An' yill an' whiskey ga'e to cairds, 
Until they scunner." 

Burns. Ep. to Smith. 

Sec, C ; Sic, S, such. 

" Feegh ! sec a yen we've hed at Codbeck, 
As niverwas under the sun." 

Anderson. The Codbeck Wedding. 
"Sic as ye gie, sic will ye get." Proverb. 


Shap, C, to seem likely, or tend to. 

"They're shappiri to gang he&m wid empty pockets." 

Said of two losing whist players at a Merry Night. 

Shinny, C ; Shinty, S, a rough game played with knobbed or 
round ended sticks called in the south of England, I 
believe, hocky. 

" Shinntfs weel aneuf if shins wer' seaf." Old saying. 
Sinsyne, S, since then. 

" She charm' d my heart an' aye sinsyne, 
I canna think o' onie ither." 

Song O'er the Muir. 

Skeich, S, shy, distant. 

" Maggie coost her heid fu' heich, 
Look'd asklent an' unco sketch." 

Burns. Duncan Gray. 

Skirl, S, scream. 

" White and bludy puddings rowth 
To gar the doctor skirl wi' drowth. " 

Ferguson. St. Andrews. 

Skreich, S ; Skrike, C, Shriek. 

"It's time aneuch to skreich when ye' re strucken." 


Skurl, C, slide. 

" Skurl, skurl the' doon I'll kep the', come thy ways, 
I'll leuk ahint me niver mind thy claes." 

Ewan Clarke. 

Slake, C, a slight smear as of grease, etc. 

" Let's tak' slake an' slake aboot till it's done." 

Said in licking out a treacle pot. 

Slape, C, slippery. 

" I mun tell her fadder when I see him- she's gittin' varra 
slape, " old John Howe of Branthwaite Hall called out when 
he witnessed, by chance, a meeting of sweethearts on a lonely 

Slare, C, to walk slowly. 

" He may be a sharp worker, but he's a slarin' walker." 

Said by a farmer's wife of. new come man servant. 


Slashy, C, sloppy. 

" It was beginnin' to thowe, an' was varra slashy an' cald." 
Betty Yewdale. T' terrible Knitters i' Dent. 
Slatter, C, slop. 

" Wi' jaws o' yell some durty beuts 
Pat loft seun in a slatter. " 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 

Sleekie, or Sleekit, S, sly, smooth. 

' ' O we were sly, sly ! 
O, we were sly an' sleekit. " 

Slipe, C, to slip away, to "hook it." 

" Slipe, my lad, while thou's weel. Slipe, I say, an' let 
neabody see the' gang. " Said to a youth in a row. 

Slocken, S and C, to slake thirst. 

' ' Ha'e ye any clippin' drink left ? No ! Ha'e ye any 
common yall ? No ! Ha'e ye any smo' beer ? No ! Why 
than, hang -it ha'e ye any pig-stuff? I mun be slockerit wi' 
summat !" John Kendall at Hawkshead Hall the day after 
the sheep-shearing feast. 

Smaik, S, a small boy, or other small animal. 

" He's but a smaik, but he's a man at the books." 

Said of a schoolboy. 
Smittal, C, infectious. 

"As smittal as t' Smo' -pox." Said of a successful male 
animal kept for breeding purposes. 

Snape, C, snub, also blight. 

' ' Yet tho' sec bruollitnents gal wore 
Oft snaip't the whyet of our days." 

Stagg. Auld Lang Syne. 
Sneck, C, latch. 

" The Buckabank chaps are reel famous sweeth carters, 
Their kisses just sound like the sneck of a yett. " 

Anderson. Bleckell Murry-Neet. 

Sneck-posset, C. When a man has the door shut in his face, 

figuratively or literally, he gets a sneck-posset. 
" Glooar'd at me a bit, an' than clyash't dewar i' mi feeace 

He g'e ma a faer sneck-possett." 

Rev. T. Clarke. Johnny Shippard. 


Snell, S, cold and cutting. 

" There cam' a wind oot o' the north, 
A sharp wind and a snell. " 

Ballad Young Tamlane. 

Snirrup, or Snirp, C, to curl up the nose, etc. 
" As seun as she fund I depended on labour, 
She snirft up her nose an' nae mair leuk't at me." 

Anderson. The Lasses o' Carel. 

Snirt, orSnurl, C, the sound of imperfectly suppressed laughter. 
' ' But seckan toke ! nin could tell what aboot, 
I stop't my lugs for fear o' snurtirf oot." 

Graham. Gwordie and Will. 

Snod, S and C, smooth, neat. 

' ' Her cockermonie snoddit up fu' sleek, 

Her haffet locks hung wavin' owre her cheek." 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 

" You're making this road rough !" "Ey, but we'll mak 
it snod afoor we're deun wi' 't." 

Reply of the road surveyor at Hawkshead. 

Snowk, C, to snuffle audibly. 

" Snowkin" 1 like pigs at a sew." Common saying. 

Snug (as a verb), C, to nestle. , 
" We snugg^t in togidder." Ibid. 

Sonsie, S, comfortable looking, also lucky. 

" Tall and sonsie, frank and free, 
Lo'ed by a', an' dear to me." 

Lady Nairne. Kind Robin lo'es me. 
" Whistlin' maid^s an' era win' hens are no sonsie." Proverb. 

Sorn, S, to live on others, to sponge. 

" Sornan frae place to place, 
As scrimp o' mainners as o' sense or grace." 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 

Souch, S, the sound of gentle wind or breath. 

" Hark how the westlin' win' souths through the reeds." 



Spang-hew, S and C, to fling to the winds. 

Spang-hewing is a cruel mode practised by school boys of 
putting birds, frogs, etc., to death. A stick is laid across a 
block, the victim placed on one end and the other struck 
sharply, throwing the poor animal high into the air, killing, 
and generally, mutilating it. 

Spats, S and C, abbrev. of spatterdashes gaiters. 
" Their stumps, erst used to philabegs, 
Are dight in j/#erdashes. " 

Ferguson. Leith Races. 
Speel, S,^climb. 

' ' Monie a time, 
Wi' you I've speeFd the braes o' rhyme." 

Ferguson. My Auld Breeks. 
Speir, S, ask,[enquire. 

"A feul may speir mair questions than a doctor can answer." 


Spretty, S, "covered with Sprett, a kind of coarse grass. 
"Till spretty knowes wad rair't an' risket 
An' slypet owre." 
Burns. The Auld Mare Maggie. 
Sprogue, C, a pleasure ramble. 

" I've been to t' top o' Knock Murton." " What took ye 
there ? " " I just went for a sprogue ! " 

Part of a conversation in Arlecdon. 

Squab, C, a long low seat with a back. 

" Sit on t' squab till I bring ye summat to sup on." Said to 
me once when I reached a farm house exhausted from struggling 
through a snow storm. 

Stammer, or Stummer, C, to stumble. 

" Oft wittingly I stummer't, oft' I fell." 

Relph. Kursty and Peggy. 
'Statesman, C, landed proprietor Estatesman. 

" It is a bonnie job, if gentlemen an' gentlemen's servants 
is to ower-ride us ' steals fooak. " 

Said by an old lady at Coniston after a vestry meeting. 

Stayvel, or Stayver, S and C, to walk in a listless manner. 
"Ther was hundreds o' fwoke stayvelan aboot." 

Ritson. The Borrowdale Letter. 


Stoore, S and C, dust. 

" This day the kirk kicks up a stoore.^ 

Burns. The Ordination. 
' ' The Bible ligs stoory abeun the door heid. " 

Anderson. Caleb Crosby. 
Stound, S and C, ache or pang. 

" An' aye the stound, the deidly wound, 
Cam frae her e'en sae lovely blue." 

Burns. 4 A waefu' gate yestreen. 
" It stoundit sare, an' sare it swell'd." 

Relph. After Theocritus. 
Straddel't, C, brought to a stand. 

"I think oald P was varra nar straddeft iv his sarmon." 

Heard at the door of a Wesleyan chapel after service. 

Sumph, S and C, a fool. 

" An' onie sumph that keeps up spite, 
In conscience I abhor him." 

Rev. y. Skinner. Tullochgorum. 
"I sit like a sumph, nea mair mysel'." 

Anderson. Barbary Bell. 
Swap, S and C, exchange. 

" I trow we swappit for the worse, 
Ga'e the boot an' better horse." 

Song Carle an the king come. 
" Lai Sim's geane an' swapped the black cowt." 

Anderson. Nichol the Newsmonger. 
Swat, C, sit down, squat. 

"Come, Cuddy, swat an' tak' a whiff." 

Anderson. The Cram. 
Sweir, S, loath, unwilling.' 

" Forsooth they cried, anither gill, 
For sweir we're aye to gang awa'. " 

Mac Phail. Song. 


Taggelt, C, a scamp. 

"He mud know they wor o' arrant taggelts an' taistrels." 
Rev. T. Clarke. Johnny Shippard. 


Taistrel, C, a good for nothing. 

" Yae son proved a taistrel an' brak up i' Lunnon." 

Anderson. The Twee Auld Men. 

Taws, S, a strap of thick leather slit into several tails ; an 

implement of punishment in Scottish schools 
"Never use the taws when a gloom 'ill do the turn." 


Tawtie. or Tawtit, S, roughly matted (applied to hair or wool). 
" Nae tautit tyke, though ne'er sae duddy." 

Burns. The Twa Dogs. 

Teem, C ; Toom, S, empty, pour out. 

"About her lank and all o'er teemed loins." 

"And there toom thy brock skin bag." 

Ballad The Fray of Suport. 

Teul, C and S, a bad one (probably from devil). 
" Let women deu what gud they can, 
Thur wicked teills 'ill lee." 

Jwohnny and Jenny. 
Tew, C, harass, fatigue. 

" An' while they skew't an' tew't an' swet, 
Wi' monie a weary sidle. " 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 
Theek, S, thatch. 

" An' wi' a lock o' his yellow hair, 
We'll theek our nest when it blows bare." 

Ballad The Twa Corbies. 
Thir, S ; Thur, C, these. 

" An' sad an' silent was the nicht 
That was atween thir twa. " 

Ballad Clark Saunders. 
" Thur taxes ! thur taxes ! Lord help us, Amen !" 

Ewan Clark. Ballad. 
Thole, S, endure. 

"He that has gude crops may thole some thistles. " Proverb. 
Thowless, S and C, soft, inapt. 

" Fortune aye favours the active an' bauld, 
But rains the wooer that's thowless an' cauld. " 

Ramsay. The Widow. 


Threep, S and C, to aver, or argue insistingly. 

" An' fowk wad threep that she did green 
For what wad gar her skirl 

An' skreich some day. 
Ramsay. Christ's Kirk on the Green. 
" Some threep 'at the times 'ill get better." 

Anderson. Carel Fair. 

Throssle, C, the thrush. 

" The throssle, when cauld winter's geane, 
Aye in our worchet welcomes spring. " 

Anderson. The Lass abeun Thirty. 

Throughly, C, corpulent. 

" Throughly? ey, a gud yard through an' mair ! " 

Said of Hannah Page, who sold toffy in Whitehaven. 

Thyvel, C, a porridge stick. 

" She'll lick a lean thyvel 'at weds you." 

Said to a poor Schoolmaster at Workington. 

Tine, S, lose ; Tint, lost. 

" Tine thimble, tine thrift." Proverb. 

" O have ye tint at tournament 

Your sword or yet your spear." 

Ballad The Gay Goss Hawk. 

Tip, S and C, a ram. 

*' She was nae get o' muirlan' tips, 
Wi' tawtit ket an' hairy hips. " 

Burns. Puir Maillie. 

Tipe, C, to drink off. 

' ' Tipe it up an' hev anudder. " Common fuddling invitation. 

Toozle, S and C, to rub up, to ruffle or make untidy. 
" I ance was abused i' the kirk 

For foozling a lass i' my damn." 

Burns. The Jolly Beggars. 

Top-sark, C, an over-shirt, generally made of coarse woollen 


"We cannot bed ye o', but we can lend ye top-sarks." Said 
to a weather-bound party at Cockley Beck in Seathwaite. 


Towp, C, capsize. 

' ' The leevin surs ! she tenant her ower 
Or yen cud say 'Od bliss her." 

Mark Lonsdale. The Upshot. 

Toytle, C and S, totter. 

"Tak care thou doesn't toy tie intil t' beck." 

Said to a top-heavy neighbour at Branthwaite. 

Tryste, S, an appointed meeting, also to appoint a meeting. 

"Crack tryste, crack credit." Proverb. 
' ' I daurna tryste wi' you Willie, I daurna tryste ye here, 

But I'll meet wi' you in heaven Willie, i' the spring-time o' 
the year." Aytoun. Annie's Tryste. 

Tyle, C, to distress, as with pain or fatigue. 

"I's tyled to deeth wid this kurn. I've been kurning iver 
sen mwornin', an' I seem as far off butter as iver." 

A farmer's wife. 


Unco, S ; Unket, C, strange, remarkable. 
" A hungry care's an unco care." Proverb. 

" What, is there owte unket i' your country side?" 

Anderson. Bruff Reaces. 

Up-bank, C, upwards. 

"Till watters run upbank an' trees they grow down -bank, 
We niver can leuk on his marrow agean." 

Anderson. Kit Craffet. 


Waistrel, C, an unthrift, a useless fellow. 

The late Serjeant Wilkins, in reply to the Court, once 
defined -waistrtl as "something spoiled in the manufacture 
and sold at half price in the Lowther Arcade." 

Wale, S, choose, choice. 

" For sake o' gear 
Ane wales a wife as he wad buy a meear." 

Ramsay. The Gentle Shepherd. 
" The king o' gude fellows an' wale o' auld men." 

Song Auld Rob Morris. 


Wankle, C, weakly, flaccid. 

" As wankle as a wet seek." Comgion saying. 

Wanter, C, one wanting a wife or husband. 

" He leeves aw his leane, but he's seerly to bleame, 
When a wanter like me's to be hed sa near heame." 

Anderson. Auld Robbie Miller. 

Wanwauchtie, S, unable to drink freely (wan, un, an waucht 

a hearty draught). 
"He's unco wanwauchtie that scunners at whey. " Proverb. 

War-day, C, work-day so distinguished from the day of rest. 
" She cheerfu' wrowte her war day wark, 
Than sat doon at her wheel." 

Rayson. Ann o' Hethersgill. 

Ware, S and C, spend. 

"Jockey and Jenny they went to the fair, 
Jockey gave Jenny a penny to ware. " 

Children's Rhyme. 

Wat, S, know. 

"She's a wise wife that wats her ain weird." Proverb. 

Waukrife, S, wakeful, or preventing sleep. 

" Fleas and a girnin' wife are waukrife bedfellows." 


Weird, S, fate, destiny. 

" After word comes weird, fair fa' they that ca' me madam." 


Welch, C, saltless, insipid. 

' ' What foats may poddish hev ? They may be sooar, seiity, 
sodden, an' saworless, soat, wds/i, brocken, an' lumpy ! " 

"Mally Bad-poddish." 

Whang, C and S, a strip of leather, a piece cut off anything. 
"The mergh o' his shin bane has run down on his spur leather 
wAang." The Fray of Suport. 

"Wi' sweet milk cheese i' monie a whang." 

Burns. The Holy Fair. 


Whick, C, alive, quick. 

" Sec fashions I'll net follow while I's whick, 

Lang as plain grogiam and thur locks please Dick." 

Evati Clark. The Faithful Pair. 
Whiles, S, sometimes. 

" Wha does the utmost that he can 
May -whiles do mair." 

Burns. Ep. to Dr. Blacklock. 

Whins, C ; Whuns, S, furze, gorse. 

"When t' whins is oot o' blossom kissing's oot o' fashion." 

Whunstane, S, a kind of hard dark stone. 

" Wha's ragin' flame an' scorchin' heat 
Wad melt the hardest whun-stane. " 

Burns. The Holy Fair. 

Whuddering, S and C, shuddering or tremulous in sound. 
" Whudder awa' thou bitter, biting blast." 

Mactaggart. Mary Lee's Lament. 

Widderful, C, looking withered or unthriven. 

"Thatbarne leuks as luidderful as if it was its oan gran'- 
fadder." Said of an unhealthy child. 

Wimple, S, to curl and wheel as running water. 

" But I'll big a bower on yon green bank sae bonnie, 
That's laved by the waters o' Tay wimplid clear." 

Song Bonnie Dundee. 

Win, S, to make way, to get to. 

"Ye maunna think to win through the world on a feather 
bed. " Proverb. 

Winnock, S, diminutive of window. 

" At yon farmer's wiiinock, nichtly, 
Still he taks his eerie stan'." 

John Johnstons. Bodkin Ben. 

Winsome, S, winning, attractive. 

' ' She is a winsome wee thing, 

That sweet wee wife o' mine." 

Burns. Song. 


Wizzent, C, withered, shrunk. 

"He keep's a lad's heart in his. wizzent aid skin." 

Stanyan Bigg. Granfadder Jones. 

Won, S, to exist, to dwell. 

" Kissing has -woniid i' the world 
Sin ever there were twa." 

Old Song. 

Worchet, C, orchard. 

' ' Our meedow sud be a girt, worchet, 

An' growe nowte at o' but big plums. " 

Anderson. King Roger 

Wrowke, C, to disturb roughly, or stir up. 

" I ola's liked John, but I cared sa lal for Grace 'at I cud 
ha' tean her an' -wrowKt t' fire wid her." 

A Cumberland lady, about her children. 

Wudde, S, mad. 

" I've ridden a horse baith wild an' wudde." 

Ballad Kinmont Willie. 

Wummel, C, to enter in a sinuous manner, as an auger bores. 
"He'll wummel his-sel' intil t' creuktest rabbit whoal i' 
Siddick. " Said of a terrier. 


Ya, Yan, C, one ; Ae and Yin in Dumfriesshire. 

Ya is used when the noun indicated is named yan, when 
it is understood; thus "How many fwoke was theer?" 
" Yan!" "No'but ya"?" " No'but ya man !" Ae and 
yin are used in the same way. The use of the first is illustrated 
in the conversation without consonants which is said to have 
come off in a shop in Dumfries Customer, referring to some 
cloth, asks, "A' 'oo? Shopman assents, "Ou aye a' 'oo !" 
Customer again, "A' ae 'oo?" Shopman, " Ou aye a' ae 
'oo ! " That is, "All wool?" "O yes, all wool!" "All 
one (or the same) wool ?'" " O yes, all one wool ! " 

Yabble, C, wealthy (literally, able). 

"A varra yabble man i' heeh life was wantan ta simma. " 

Rev. T. Clarke. Johnny Shippard. 


Yammer, S and C, to articulate quickly and indistinctly from 
any feeling. 
" Fareweel to the bodies that yammer an' mourn." 

Song Bide ye yet. 
"There's been a lang yammer in t' papers last week." 

Dickinson. Scallow Beck Boggle. 

Yewl, C, to weep. 

"A lal thing mak's a barne yewl, an' a lal thing mak's it 
laugh. " Proverb. 

Yoad and Yad, S and C, a mare. 

" Frae Tindal-fell twelve pecks she'd bring 
She was a yad fit for a king. " 

Anderson. My bonnie black meer's deed. 

Yoke, S and C, to engage with, to set to, to put a horse to a 
vehicle, etc. 

"At length we had a hearty yokin 

At sang about." 

Burns. Ep. to Lapraik. 
" An' they yoaKt it agean an' laid at it wi' t' whup." 

Dickinson. The Ore Carter's Wife. 

Yowl, S and C, to howl. 

"A dog winnajtfw/ an' ye hit him wi' a bane." Proverb. 


Price 6s. Small Crown 8vo. In extra Cloth binding. 


LAKE COUNTRY. With copious Notes. By JOHN 

The book ought to be classic in the Lake Country. The 
A thenceum. 

These lays and legends are modern versions and generally 
graceful versions of stories that have long been current in 
our Lake Country. With Murray's Handbook for excursions, 
fine weather, and this vohime at night in the excursionist's 
inn, a pleasant and profitable month may be passed in that 
charming district. Notes and Queries. 

The marks of talent are evident on every page*. Pall Mall 

The book is one that a tourist should be glad to find in a 
Lake Country inn. The Academy. 

A charming volume. The Peliquary. 

A book calculated to add much to the literary fame of Cum- 
berland. Liverpool Daily Albion. 

We do not know that in our Lake Rambles, enjoyed at 
intervals for forty years, we ever met the gifted author, but 
we do know that we have rarely met with a more instructive 
and attractive book. Liverpool Mail. 

An offering to our local literature, which, for its faithfulness 
of colouring, only a true Cumbrian could have made. Carlisle 
Daily Journal. 

A valuable contribution to local literature. Carlisle Patriot. 

Certain to become a treasured book in many a Cumberland 
and Westmorland household. Wldtehaven News. 

Read apart from the prose sketches, the poetical versions 
are gems of verse such as every true lover of poetry must 
appreciate. Kendal Mercury. 

We very cordially recommend the book. Wigton Advertiser. 

An excellent companion to those who desire thoroughly to 
enjoy the Lake District. Ulverston Mirror. 

We have read it through and through with great pleasure. 
Ulverston Advertiser. 



In Three Series. Price 3s. 6d. each, in Cloth binding. 

AND THE LAKE COUNTRY ; with Biographical 
Sketches, Notes, and Glossary. Illustrated with 
Portraits of Miss BLAMIRE and ROBERT ANDERSON. 

FIRST SERIES contains Ancient Ballads Cumberland Border 
Ballads Rev. Josiah Relph's Songs Miss Blamire and Miss 
Gilpin's Songs Miscellaneous. 

SECOND SERIES contains Songs and Ballads by Mark Lons- 
dale John Stagg Robert Anderson John Rayson William 
Wordsworth Miscellaneous. 

THIRD SERIES contains Songs and Ballads by John Wood- 
cock Graves John James Lonsdale Alexander Craig Gibson 
John Pagen White John Stanyan Bigg James Pritchett 
Bigg John Richardson Peter Burn William Dickinson 
George Dudson Miscellaneous. 

Cumberland is rich in dialect poetry and in the kind of 
literature that is appreciated by an intelligent peasantry. . . 
In the three volumes before us, Mr. Gilpin has given proof of 
the literary wealth to be found in that romantic region. 
The interest of some of the ballads is poetical, of others 
chiefly local or historical, but not one is undeserving the care 
bestowed upon it by the editor. Pall Mall Gazette. 

One of the most interesting collections of poetry which have 
been lately published. , . We advise the reader to buy the 
book, and we feel sure that he, like ourselves, will be thankful 
to the editor. Westminster Review. 

We cannot recollect a better collection. The Reader. 

These Cumberland lyrics till now scattered are on the 
whole well worth the pains spent on their collection. The 

It is seldom a book compiled on the local principle contains 
so much good matter as this collection. The Scotsman. 

There is much true and tender poetry in the book, and 
much rough, natural vigour. Morning Star. 


Second Edition. In Cloth binding, Price 3s.\6d. 

and some Districts Adjacent ; being short Stories and 
Khyuies in the Dialects of the West Border Counties. 

The tales are remarkable for their spirit and humour. The 
poetry, too, is marked by the same characteristics. West- 
minster Review. 

The stories and rhymes have the freshness of nature about 
them. Contemporary Review. 

Brimful of humour, homely wit and sense, and reflect the 
character and life and ways of thought of an honest sturdy 
people. Spectator. _ 

The stories, or prose pieces, are wonderfully clever and well 
done. Saturday Review. 

Small Crown 8vo. In neat Cloth binding, Price 3s.6d. 
"CUMMERLAND TALK;" being Short Tales 
and Rhymes in the Dialect of that County. By JOHN 
RICHARDSON, of Saint John's. 

A very good specimen of its class. The ordinary subscriber 
to Mudie's would not for a moment dream of ever looking 
into it, and yet Mr. Richardson possesses far more ability 
than the generality of novelists who are so popular. West- 
minster Review. 

Good and pleasant. Saturday Review. 

There are both pathos and humour in the various stories 
and ballads furnished by Mr. Richardson. We congratulate 
Cumberland on having so many able champions and admirers 
of her dialect. Athencsum. 


Price 2s. Gd. Small Crown 8vo. In extra Cloth binding. 



The Ballads are : 

THE WHITE LAD YE, a Tradition of Na worth Castle. 


MASTER WILLIAM, a Tradition of Corby Castle. 

THE LADYE o' BLENKINSOP, a Tradition of Blenkinsop Castle. 

THE GREY MAN o' BELLISTER, a Tradition of Bellister Castle. 

THE BONNY BAIRNS o' CAREL TOON, a Tradition of Carlisle 


THE GOLD TABLE o' THIRLWA', a Tradition of Thirl wall Castle. 
THE GOOD LADYE, a Tradition of Egremont Castle. 
MAY MARYE, a Tradition of Askerton Castle. 
LIZZIE BATY (The Brampton Sibyl or Witch). 

And Miscellaneous Pieces. 

Price 3s. 6d. in Cloth ; or 5s. in Extra Gilt Binding. 


If Mr. Burn's genius does not soar very high, she leads us 
into many a charming scene in country and town, and imparts 
moral truths and homely lessons. In many points our author 
resembles Cowper, notably in his humour and practical aim. 
One end of poetry is to give pleasure, and wherever these 
poems find their way they will both teach and delight. 
Literary World.